10 November 1995

Dairy inquiry will begin soon

THE Commons agriculture select committee will begin its inquiry into the UK dairy industry and the CAP dairy regime later this month.

First to give evidence will be MAFF officials on Nov 22. In the following weeks the committee will call the NFU and other farmer groups, including Milk Marque.

A joint written submission from the NFU, Scottish NFU and the Ulster Farmers Union warns the committee that the EU dairy support regime must be adapted to secure the continued competitiveness of UK milk producers.

They also point out that the UK was disadvantaged from the start of the quota regime in 1984, because the country was not awarded enough quota. The unions stress the need to improve the flexibility of the quota system across the EU to optimise the available milk production opportunities. They also insist that, wherever possible, milk quota should be held by active producers.

Milk Marque, in its written submission to the committee, maintains that market deregulation in the UK is a success. But it is concerned about the long-term future of the CAP dairy regime. &#42