Quota Abandonment Detrimental to Competitiveness

SPAIN - Milk quota termination in the European Union (EU), expected in 2015, may aggravate the problems of competitiveness of European producers, Miguel Arias Cañete, the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, has warned.
calendar icon 30 November 2012
clock icon 1 minute read

"Unfortunately, I fear that the end of the milk quota regime will only exacerbate the diminished competitiveness of the dairy production sector," said Arias Canete in a speech at a public debate held as EU agriculture ministers, gathered in a Council in Brussels.

"In recent months Spain has raised awareness to the plight of the dairy sector, and followed developments with great concern," said the Spanish minister.

This week 3,500 people took for two days several streets in the neighborhood which houses the EU institutions in the Brussels to protest the rising cost of feed and falling milk prices.

The European Commissioner for Agriculture, Dacian Ciolos, said that although the producers can not find immediate solutions to existing problems, is willing to discuss "long-term answers."

"We believe qouta discontiuation is not feasible and that the consequences can be very damaging to the Community producer and processor industry," he said.

He called for "a smooth transition for the sector towards market liberalization" and "an extension of the current quota system until 2020."

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