23 September 1998
Campaign to abolish milk quota intensifies

By FWi staff

FARM Minister Nick Brown has stepped up the UKs campaign to abolish milk quota when he outlined an alternative approach to the future of the European dairy regime.

Officials from Denmark, Italy, Sweden and the UK today (Wednesday) circulated a paper in Brussels which proposes a six-year programme for phasing out the quota system.

The paper formalises the four countries calls for a 30% cut in support prices over six years and the removal of milk quotas after 2006.

Mr Brown this morning echoed the view of past farm ministers when he claimed European Union Commission proposals to cut dairy support by 15% over four years didnt go far enough.

“Our aim was to devise a reform which would allow the European Unions dairy industry to participate fully in world markets,” said Mr Brown.

“We also wanted to liberate our dairy industry from the bureaucracy and unfairness of the quota system.”

The paper proposes a 4% increase in milk quotas introduced in parallel with the support price cuts and extending direct payments proposed under the Agenda 2000 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

It also suggests replacing existing intervention with a safety net, possibly involving private storage as in the beef reform proposals.