UFU voice reservations on calls for further “soft landing” on Milk Quota

Thursday, 8 May, 2014

Ulster Farmers’ Union Dairy Policy Chairman Jonathon Moore has voiced reservations in relation to COPA-COGECA’s position paper urging the EU Commission to take on board measures which would soften the blow for Member States being over quota in the final year before the EU’s Milk Quota system is to be abolished. 

Jonathon said; “After the soft landing was introduced by the EU back in the 2008 CAP Health Check, which amounted to a 2% increase in milk quota, the UFU have been vocal with its concerns about any additional softening of the rules.  We understand that these concerns have been shared by both DARD and DEFRA and to date the EU Commission and Council have opposed any further softening.  On the proposals for further changes to how the butter fat coefficient is calculated this year, the UFU are concerned that this could disrupt local milk markets and create an unfair advantage to our competitors in other Member States. In addition, the UFU has further reservations in relation to the added cost and bureaucracy which any changes would entail. 

“The UFU are however, fully supportive of the COPA-COGECA endorsement of the Milk Market Observatory (MMO) and we have participated in COPA-COGECA delegations at the on-going preliminary meetings.  The MMO was established by the EU Commission to allow Member States to discuss how best to deal with the potential increase in price volatility when milk quotas expire in 2015.  Aimed at increasing transparency and providing the most accurate market data the MMO will compile, publish and update a website with the most accurate market data for dairy industry stakeholders. This will strengthen the Commissions capacity to monitor dairy markets as we approach a post quota policy environment.”