Catalogue description Records of Food Divisions

Details of Division within MAF
Reference: Division within MAF
Title: Records of Food Divisions

Records of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food's food divisions and predecessors, dealing with policy on manufactured food and drink, and its distribution, from 1939 onwards.

Registered files on manufactured foods are in MAF 263. Registered files on distribution and warehousing are in MAF 392

Date: 1939-1973
Related material:

See also Division within MAF

Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Food and Drink Industry Division, 1971-1977

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, General Food Policy Division II, 1968-1971

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Miscellaneous Commodities Division, 1955-1959

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Sugar and Manufactured Foods Division, 1959-1963

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Sugar, Tropical and Manufactured Foodstuffs Division, 1963-1968

Physical description: 2 series
Administrative / biographical background:

The Ministry of Food included a number of commodity divisions, mostly in a Supply Department, dealing with the ministry's policies as they related to particular foodstuffs. These policies were framed by a number of central divisions (such as those for Import Programming and Overseas Negotiations, or Home Agriculture, Marketing and Distribution, Food Standards and Labelling, or Tinplate and Packing). Following the establishment of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1955, only one general food policy division was established, that for Food Standards and Hygiene, the other interests being absorbed into existing Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Divisions.

However, the need was soon apparent for a part of the ministry to take responsibility for general food policy matters other than standards and hygiene, and these were originally dealt with by various Economic Policy Divisions. In 1968 these were reorganised and two General Food Policy Divisions were created. Of these the first dealt with broad economic questions of prices, the distributive trade, catering, monopolies and merger policy, while the second handled relations with the food and drinks industry. In 1971 the division was renamed the Food and Drink Industry Division. The remaining Food Policy Division was split in 1973 when a new division was required to handle food aspects of the counter-inflation programme. A united Food Policy Division was recreated in 1974, at which time a separate Food Subsidies Division was created to administer the ministry's subsidies to producers of bread, cheese, flour and tea. This division also had some responsibility for policy on the contamination of food until 1977 when a new Food Additives and Contaminants Division was created.

The responsibilities of the Food Policy Division were split again in 1976, this time Division II being responsible for counter-inflation measures and relations with the food distributive trade. In the following year a third Food Policy Division dealing with alcoholic drinks was formed after the dissolution of the Food and Drink Industry Division (relations with the food industry being taken up by Food Policy Division I). In 1981, Food Policy Divisions I and II were again merged, as Division I (the alcoholic drinks division becoming Division II). In 1983 Division I became the Food Policy and Exports Promotion Division, and thereafter the Food Policy Division (1988-1989), the Food Industry, Marketing and Competition Policy Division (1989-1995) and the Food and Drinks Industry Division (1995-).

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