Italian milk plans before EUsoon
NEW Italian milk reform plans, suggesting deep price cuts coupled with direct income aid, are to be presented to EU farm ministers on Monday (Feb 17).
In a document released in Brussels this week, the Italian government calls for lower prices from the year 2000, in order to stay competitive on the world market. Any compensation should be permanent and modulated according to herd size, it adds.
Income aid would be partly funded by cuts in butter and skimmed milk powder processing aid, and by lower export refunds. The current public storage system should also be phased out.
The Italians also propose the abolition of the quota system, with some sort of co-responsibility levy to control production.
In the short term, they suggest a revision of national quota allocations in 1997/98.
for countries with production shortfalls. This follows the recent rejection by the commission of an Italian request for additional quota this year.