MPs investigate EU’s plans for dairy sector

MPs have launched an inquiry into the EU’s proposals for the dairy industry to examine how they might affect UK farmers.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee has decided to examine the potential impact of the European Commission’s ‘Milk Package’ proposals on the UK dairy industry.

The committee will look at legislative proposals that would provide for written contracts between milk producers and processors, and measures for enhancing transparency in the market.

The proposals are intended to boost the position of the producer in the dairy supply chain and prepare the sector for a more market oriented and sustainable future.

When they were published in December 2010, the NFU described them as “promising”, although DEFRA has indicated that it does not intend to make some elements compulsory.

MPs will also consider a report on the dairy market and the conditions for smoothly phasing out the milk quota system.

The commission wishes to end production quotas in 2015 because most countries’ output is well below the levels mandated by the limits.

The committee invites all interested parties to submit written evidence by 2 March 2011.

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