EU Ministers Haunted Again by Future of Milk Quotas

EU - As the end of the subsidy scheme beckons, European Union policymakers will once again be confronted with the daunting task of fixing the future of milk quotas.
calendar icon 27 May 2008
clock icon 1 minute read

Created in the mid-1980s to deal with the EU's notorious milk surpluses, the national quota system is due to be abolished in 2015 as part of a mammoth 2003 reform of farm policy, reported the Guardian.

The news agency has said that in a bid to cushion the financial pain to the EU dairy industry and help the sector get ready for the end of production limits, EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel has suggested annual 1 percent increases in quotas, to start in 2009.

And earlier this year, EU ministers agreed a 2 percent rise in production quotas for the 2008/09 marketing year to meet rising demand and cool soaring prices.

Canvassed during an informal meeting of farm ministers, the bloc's 27 countries showed themselves as divided as ever on milk quotas, which have a long history of assuming an importance that diplomats say is disproportionate to their significance.

Some countries want higher quota increases, some want them scrapped now and others would like them to stay unchanged. And several ministers said the quota increases should be decided on an annual basis, depending on market circumstances.

  • View the Guardian story by clicking here.
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