EU: Brussels holds firm on dairy liberalisation
The European Commission is resisting pressure to unpick its recently approved dairy liberalisation reforms in the face of collapsing prices on the world dairy market.
Record prices in 2006 and early 2007 prompted increased production, which has combined with falling recession-time demand to wreck dairy industry business plans.
Brussels has increased temporary dairy intervention as a result, but yesterday (23 March) the Commission came under pressure from the EU Council of Ministers for Agriculture to delay, or even reverse, its 'health check' reforms that will expand dairy production quotas.
However, EU agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel has dismissed such calls.
"I am not ready to discuss a complete re-orientation of the EU dairy policy as suggested by some of you. I'm not going to step back from the agreement… We have to be brave enough to say it clearly. Blurred messages are just causing uncertainty among farmers," she said.
Fischer Boel said reducing quota to increase prices would go completely counter to all the CAP reforms introduced since 1992.
"We will not deviate from that road due to a temporary dip in the dairy market." Fischer Boel said. "I refuse to accept that the dairy sector is fundamentally so different from any other agricultural sector that it should be granted a unique treatment."
The announcement this weekend by European Union's Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel that she is standing down has sparked intense speculation on her potential replacement....
European dairy farmers remain unsatisfied with the fresh swathe of support being proposed by the EU, insisting that the goal of phasing out quotas by 2015 is "not beneficial" to the market....
Emergency powers to help European dairy producers in current and future market crises have been proposed by the European Commission, which claims that dairy prices are finally climbing....
Mariann Fischer Boel is to step down from her role as EU Agriculture Commissioner at the end of her term....
EU Agriculture Minister Mariann Fischer Boel today (15 September) called for countries to grow more food, in more challenging weather conditions, with lower emissions of greenhouse gases....
The French government has pressed for urgent financial support from the European Commission to offset losses in Europe's pigmeat sector, which has been struggling since prices dropped in 2007....
The attack by France and Germany on the European Commission's 'health check' reforms to phase out EU dairy quotas by 2015 is gathering support, with 16 member states backing increased subsidies....
European legislators have urged the EU to include cheese in plans to extend aid for the bloc's dairy farmers until February next year....
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