IN BRIEF : Europe’s Food Surplus Dwindling

<i> From Times staff and wire service reports </i>

The European Community’s surplus food stockpiles are dwindling fast, according to figures published today by the EC’s executive commission.

Cereals, butter and milk stocks have fallen particularly sharply both in volume and value over the last year, an EC spokesman told reporters.

Tough farm reforms helped cut the total value of surplus stocks by almost half in the year through September to a provisional 4.66 billion European Currency Units, or $5.4 billion, he said. A year earlier they totaled 10.57 billion ECUs, or $12.26 billion.


“This positive development is the direct result of Common Agricultural Policy reform,” the spokesman said.

Policies agreed to at a landmark summit last February were intended partly to cut down the amount of unwanted output the EC bought from its 10 million farmers.

The butter supplies fell from more than a million tons to just 221,000 tons over the year to Sept. 30.

At its peak in November, 1986, the butter stock totaled 1.4 million tons. The EC found many ways of disposing of it, such as giving it to the needy at Christmas, feeding it to veal calves and selling it to lipstick manufacturers.