Dairy UK Lobbies Against Differential Quota

UK - Dairy UK has written to Commissioner Mariann Fischer-Boel arguing strongly against the idea of differential increases in milk quotas. This recent proposal would enable certain member states to expand milk production more quickly than under the Commission’s original fixed-increases scenario.
calendar icon 12 November 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

The policy has been floated by Commission officials in order to win the support of some member states for the Health Check package, which is scheduled to be agreed at the November Agriculture Council.

Details are sketchy, but the suggestion is that some member states would be able to ‘front load’ their quota increases. As countries with the greatest appetite for quota increases are major exporters to the UK, any extra milk would stand a good chance of ending up in the UK market.

Dairy UK’s letter points out that the policy would effectively discriminate against the UK and that only uniform flat rate quota increases would ensure that every EU member equally feels the effect of additional milk in the EU market. We also argue that differential increases will prejudice a soft landing, which is a prerequisite to making the abolition of quotas acceptable.

Finally, the letter argues that the policy review in 2011 should be scrapped as it will inevitably create uncertainty over the whole principle of quota abolition.

Dairy UK has been active in the Health Check debate since its inception and will be following developments in Europe closely.

“The benefits of approval will be significant, giving a health claim new impetus and boosting a product’s marketing potential. But manufacturers should also draw up brand and product contingency plans in case their health claims are not approved.”

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