04 September 1997
End to quota could mean milk shortage, says MEP

By FWi staff

LABOUR Euro MP David Hallam has called on European Union agricultural commissioner Franz Fischler to extend the milk quota scheme beyond 2006.

Mr Hallam argues that there is a shortage of milk for UK food manufacturers to make products such as chocolate, yoghurts and processed foods, and that a premature end to the quota system would only compound these problems.

“Meanwhile farmers tell me that they could produce more milk if only they could get quotas at a sensible price,” he said.

He said an early end to the quota system would discourage new entrants to farming and would be a disincentive to invest in modern techniques.

During an exchange of views at the European Parliaments agricultural committee in Brussels this week, Mr Hallam also questioned the EUs predictions that milk consumption throughout Europe will fall over the next decade.

In reply, Mr Fischler said the increased milk consumption trends of the UK, Spain and Greece were not consistent with other EU-member states, with these countries expecting a jump in demand particularly for chocolate and dessert products.

Mr Fischler said demand for butter and skimmed milk products continue to fall across the entire EU, but overall demand was expected to remain steady.