Young farmers benefit from first EU milk quota rise in 15 years
THE first increase in European Union (EU) milk quotas in nearly 15 years will benefit young farmers trying to develop a stronghold in the industry.
The move is part of attempts to revitalise an aged and declining farm population. The proposed shake-up would lift milk quotas – introduced in 1984 to curb production – by 2% across the board.
Farmers younger than 40 would get half the increase, with some also taking a share of the other 1% rise in quotas which are being directed to dairy farmers in mountain regions.
The new arrangements will accompany a 15% cut in minimum prices for milk set by the EU.
The proposals are unlikely to be significantly altered when European commissioners meet on March 18 to agree on Common Agricultural Policy reforms to put to member states.
Proposals to give member states powers to allocate 30% of direct aid payments worth Ecu3 billion (£2bn) a year in the beef and dairy sectors will also be discussed, as will plans to cut back payments to large farmers.
Financial Times 02/03/98 page 22