Catalogue description Records of Marketing

Details of Division within MAF
Reference: Division within MAF
Title: Records of Marketing

Records of the marketing divisions of the ministries.

The records relate to:

  • British Standards Insitutute: MAF 304.
  • Agricultural Marketing correspondence and papers: MAF 34.
  • Food From Britain Council Meetings: MAF 475.
  • Marketing committees: MAF 316.
  • Marketing organisation: MAF 194.
  • Marketing standardisation: MAF 195.

Date: 1918-2009
Related material:

See also the records of the Potato Marketing Board FY

See also the records of the Milk Marketing Board JV

Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Marketing Division, 1919-1955

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Agricultural and Horticultural Co-operation Division, 1968-1969

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Agricultural Censuses and Marketing Division, 1957-1959

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Agricultural Marketing and Policy Division, 1955-1957

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Co-operation and Labour Division, 1969-1972

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Economic Advice and Marketing Division, 1959-1963

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Economic Advice, Marketing and Eggs Division, 1963-1965

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Economic Policy Division II, 1965-1968

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Economic Policy Division IV, 1966-1968

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Food Policy Division, 1971-1972

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

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Marketing Policy and Potatoes Division, 1974-1989

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Marketing Policy Division, 1972-1974

Physical description: 6 series
Administrative / biographical background:

Markets Divisions, 1919-

Early attempts by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to stimulate agricultural co-operation took the form of subsidising a voluntary body, the Agricultural Organisation Society, which attempted to promote the formation of producers' marketing organisations and agricultural credit societies. Its efforts were largely unsuccessful and it was wound up in 1924 when the National Farmers Union took over the function of encouraging the creation of voluntary marketing schemes and the ministry that of administering the Agricultural Credits Act of 1923 through its Markets and Co-operation Branch. In relation to marketing, the ministry concentrated during the 1920s on the investigation of market conditions, assisted by funds from the Empire Marketing Board. The reports of the Linlithgow Committee on the Distribution and Prices of Agricultural Produce in 1923-1924 led to the creation of the National Mark Schemes under the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act 1928, with the several objects of facilitating some ministry control over marketing, protecting consumers and benefiting farmers commercially. These grading and marking regulations were applied to many agricultural and horticultural products, but were suspended on the outbreak of war in 1939 and were not later revived.

Agricultural Marketing Acts, 1931 and 1933

The weakness of voluntary marketing schemes in conditions of depression led to the provision of statutory authority under the Agricultural Marketing Acts 1931 and 1933. The former provided for the setting up of compulsory marketing schemes under producer-controlled boards, with power to regulate the marketing of specific products; for advisory bodies and other arrangements to assist the development and operation of the schemes and safeguard the public interest; and for the creation of agricultural marketing funds from which loans could be made to the boards.

Stimulus to use these powers was provided by the 1933 act, which enabled marketing schemes to provide for qualitative regulation of producers' sales of their products; provided for regulation of imports of agricultural commodities; and established a Market Supply Committee to review the supply position for agricultural products, report on import control arrangements and advise and assist the minister in connection with his duties under the act. It also provided, where marketing schemes existed for a primary and a related secondary product, for the establishment of a development scheme to be operated by a Development Board to organise production of the secondary product. Administration of these acts fell to the Marketing Division of the ministry.

Under the acts, marketing schemes came into operation for hops (1932), milk (three schemes in Scotland and one for England and Wales, 1933-1934), pigs (1933) and potatoes (1934). Separate arrangements were made for the marketing of wheat, sugar and livestock, all under independent commissions. The scheme for bacon (1933) was the only one that became operative for a secondary product and the Bacon Development Board was set up in 1935 to operate a development scheme and to co-ordinate the activities of the Pigs and Bacon Marketing Boards. On the outbreak of war the schemes for potatoes, pigs and bacon and a projected scheme for milk products were suspended, their regulative functions being taken over by the Ministry of Food. The milk schemes continued in a modified form, but the advisory committees ceased to function. Since the war the pigs and bacon schemes have not been revived, but those for hops and potatoes were resumed and new boards for wool (1950) tomatoes and cucumbers (1950-1964) and eggs (1956-1970) were established.

Marketing Divisions: Structure from 1955 onwards

On the formation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1955, the Marketing Division was replaced by the Agricultural Marketing and Policy Division (1955-1957). The following divisions then held responsibility for marketing matters: Agricultural Censuses and Marketing (1957-1959); Economic Advice and Marketing (1959-1963); Economic Advice, Marketing and Eggs (1963-1965); Economic Policy II (1965-1966) and IV (1966-1968).

Between 1968 and 1972 responsibility for marketing was split between on the one hand General Food Policy Division I (1968-1971) and Food Policy Division (1971-1972) covering general policy, and on the other the Agricultural and Horticultural Co-operation Division (1968-1969) and the Co-operation and Labour Division (1969-1972) covering administration of marketing and co-operative schemes. In 1974 marketing matters were placed under the single Marketing Policy Division (1972-1974), and thereafter the following divisions: Marketing Policy and Potatoes (1974-1989) and Food Industry, Marketing and Competition Policy (1989-1995).

Marketing Divisions: Functions from 1955 onwards

The responsibilities of marketing divisions include developments and improvements in agricultural and horticultural marketing; co-operation and producer grouping; the legal position and taxation of co-operatives; the Food from Britain scheme; the Agricultural and Horticultural Co-operation Scheme 1971 and grants to fruit and vegetable groups under EEC regulations; the Central Council for Agricultural and Horticultural Co-operation; FEOGA (Fonds Européens d'Orientation et de la Garantie Agricole) grants under EEC marketing and processing regulations; and the Agricultural Marketing Acts.

In 1991 a Market Task Force was established in the Food, Drink and Marketing Policy Department, with duties that included the administration of the Marketing Development Scheme and the Processing and Marketing Grant, as well as responsibility for initiatives dealing with the United Kingdom's food and drink trade gap. Its general objective was to encourage British food growers and processors to exploit opportunities to export British produce, including by better marketing. The Market Task Force was made independent of its parent division in 1994.

In 1992, a Milk Marketing and Legislation Division was set up in the department to prepare new legislation for UK Milk Marketing Schemes.The division oversaw the winding down of the Residuary Milk Marketing Board in 1995 and the operation and revocation of the United Kingdom's milk marketing schemes. The division was abolished in 1995.

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