Call to end milk quota system

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MOVES in Brussels that would fund short-term supply problems in the milk sector in Europe were yesterday attacked by both Scottish and English NFUs as only adding to bureaucracy and helping competitors.

George Jamieson, milk policy manager for NFUS, described an amendment in the current common agricultural policy (CAP) proposals as “bureaucratic and ineffective”, with the only beneficiaries being dairy companies in New Zealand or the United States.

The proposal, supported by the European Parliament, would maintain supply management in the dairy sector and would require the retention of the milk quota administrative framework.

That, according to English NFU dairy board chairman Mansel Raymond, raised doubts about the EU commitment to the abolition of quotas.

“There are some in Europe who would like the supply of milk within the EU to remain shackled through the back door,” he said.

“Dairy farmers face increasingly volatile market conditions but the existing tools, such as intervention, public storage and the direct payments made to dairy farmers, are sufficient and we strongly support their continuation. However, there should be no place in a modern market-orientated CAP for supply management measures that penalise farmers for increasing production.”

Jamieson added: “NFU Scotland believes that global markets offer Scottish dairy producers great opportunities from which they should profit provided processors are ambitious.”