26 September 1997

Support may go by 2006 – minister

QUOTAS will be abolished by 2006, and even sooner if the current government has its way.

So warned farm minister Jeff Rooker, speaking at one of the Spotlight on Profit seminars.

"We want to abolish quotas. They will come to an end no later than 2006, and sooner if poss-ible."

"We welcomed Agenda 2000, but have considerable difficulty with it – its an inadequate response to the problems facing the dairy industry and will maintain high levels of support."

UK takes over EU presidency

The UK takes over EU presidency on Jan 1, 1998, which will givethe government a golden opportunity to set in place an agenda which will force its successors to drive towards reform, said MrRooker.

"Milk prices within the EU must be in line with world prices. And as the EU expands we will have an increasing dairy surplus, and more pressure from world trade regulations. The status quo is not an option – the issue is not whether there is a reform, but how we reform."

Quotas will come to an end by 2006 – and sooner if possible, warned farm minister Jeff Rooker.