Farm Ireland

Thursday 26 April 2018

Action on milk quotas ruled out

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

The EU Commission has again refused to bring in additional measures to effect a 'soft landing' in the value of milk quotas in 2015.

Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos pointed out in a review of current dairy market conditions that returns for EU milk producers were 30pc above those of 2009.

He also expressed the view that the most recent market rally would continue into the autumn.

The Commission has been under pressure from some countries to take action to reduce the inflated value of milk quotas in some member states.

The allocation of additional quota at national level or a reduction in the superlevy fine (which is set at 28c/l) over the next three years have been touted as possible measures.

However, the Commission has steadfastly refused to reopen discussions on the dairy package agreed under the mid-term review of CAP.

Commission sources say any move to renegotiate the package could lead to some countries attempting to row back on the decision to abandon milk quotas in 2015.

However, comments by Commissioner Ciolos that pressure from large retailers was to blame for low milk prices in some member states was strongly criticised by the ICMSA.

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The association's deputy president, Pat McCormack, said stricter policing of the supply chain was required to control the power of retailers in the dairy sector.

He said the European Milk Board (EMB) had put forward detailed proposals concerning the introduction of a monitoring agency at EU level which would examine the price and margin being taken by the components in the supply chain.

Mr McCormack said this approach needed to be adopted by the Commission.

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