Europe’s agriculture chief backs abolition of dairy quotas
The new EU Agriculture Commissioner gave the first clear indication on Friday (26 March) that he supports scrapping restrictive EU dairy production quotas in 2015.
The recent appointment of Romanian Dacian Ciolos as agriculture commissioner raised concerns in some quarters that he might reinstate dairy quotas in order to combat the crisis facing European dairy producers.
However, in a speech to a Brussels conference on the future of milk, he ruled out revisiting the decision to phase out quotas.
“I do not think the solution is to revisit that decision,” he said. “We live in a new situation and need to find appropriate solutions. The crisis has been one of a contraction in demand and it is clear that the quotas, which continue in place for now, did not provide a solution.”
Instead, the European Commission would maintain emergency direct payments while looking for longer-term solutions, such as improving the weak negotiating position of dairy producers with their larger manufacturing and retail customers, he said.
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