6 June 1997

Quota reserve call for young farmers

EUROPEAN young farmers group, CEJA, has called on the EU to set up an obligatory national milk quota reserve, with priority access for young farmers.

In its paper on the future of EU dairy policy, CEJA says milk quotas have successfully maintained milk production in all areas of the EU. They have also created a relatively stable market, making it possible for producers to plan ahead and should be retained.

But their high capital value has made it hard for young farmers to move into milk production.

To help new entrants CEJA wants a national reserve created in each member state, with a percentage of every quota transfer being siphoned into the reserve. Priority access for quota allocation should then be given to young farmers.

It also calls for the early retirement scheme to be introduced in all member states, saying quotas released from this should be added to the new reserve. Quotas should also be restricted only to those producing milk.

John Lee, CEJA president, said the difficulties facing young farmers who wanted to get in to milk production threatened the future of the whole milk industry because the impetus which dynamic young people could bring to the sector was missing.n