12 May 1999
Milk quota to stay until 2008

THE European Union (EU) plans to keep its milk quota regime until at least 2008, according to the Financial Times today.

The EU milk quota system has long been criticised by countries including the USA and Australia for inflating world prices and distorting markets.

The UK, Italy, Sweden and Denmark have also argued for its abolition, although France and Germany wanted to retain it.

EU government heads concluded in March that the main reform of the milk regime should begin in 2005 rather than 2003, as farm ministers had agreed.

But EU diplomats have agreed this week that the reforms would take place over three years and they extended the quota regime to 2008, the FT says.