Subsidised sales grow The demand for subsidised butter and cream for use in food, bakery and ice cream manufacture continued to grow across the European Union in 2001 despite a 10% cut in the rate of subsidy last June. The quantities of butter bid for under the fortnightly tendering system totalled 476,000 tonnes during the year, 3% or 14,000 tonnes up on the previous year. The subsidy, currently worth around £500 per tonne to UK users, is designed to make the use of butter more competitive with other fats in the food industry and it is clearly popular to judge from the steady expansion in uptake every year. In fact these subsidised sales now account for about 30% of all butter sales in the EU. Use in the UK is also growing and about 12% of all tenders in the EU last year were made in this country totalling over 58,000 tonnes, also up by about 3% on 2000. Additional UK use also comes from imported butter where the subsidy has been drawn in the country of origin and this means that subsidised usage in the UK is well above the EU average of a 30% market share. The other main subsidy scheme for butter in the EU, that for retail concentrated butter, is small by comparison and totalled only 11,100 tonnes in 2001, 5% down on 2000. Germany is the main user of concentrated butter, but the UK is the second most popular market for this product with offtake of about 1,300 tonnes. {{CANNED GOODS }}