Ministry urges EU to phase out dairy quotas

24 September 1998

Ministry urges EU to phase out dairy quotas

AGRICULTURE Minister Nick Brown, will present a new package of tougher measures for reform of Europes dairy policy at the European Union farm ministers council next week.

The package will call for early phasing out of dairy quotas – no later than 2006.

Richard Packer, permanent secretary at the ministry of agriculture told the European Dairy Farming Event seminar at the National Agricultural Centre that the proposals had been designed to ensure a “relatively easy transition to a quota free regime from 2006”.

There would be 30% reduction in support prices in the six years to this date; a 4% increase in quota would be introduced in parallel with the price cuts; intervention support would be replaced by a safety net possibly in the form of private storage aids; and direct producers support would be provided by an extended cow premium scheme.

Mr Packer said the evidence suggested that many were optimistic about the industry given that dairy producers were prepared to pay 8p per litre to lease quota and 35p or 36p to buy it.

Mr Packer also confirmed that the Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on the milk industry would not be published until next January and he urged producers to work closely with processors.

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