France’s milk producers have asked the EU to go back on its decision to increase milk quotas.  

Earlier this year, the EU’s Agriculture ministers increased quotas by 2% in 2008 in response to strong demand worldwide and price hikes.   

However, in a statement, the Organisation des Producteurs du Lait (OPL), claimed that the move “will trigger a vicious circle of declining prices, producers going out of business and a drop in quality for consumers”.

The OPL said the European Commission’s objective is to “do away with milk quotas altogether” in increasing them annually “until they are so high they would no longer have any reason being in place and therefore be abandoned”.   

It adds that the quotas are “indispensable to the sector and are the only means of ensuring, for both producers and consumers, price stability”.

Nevertheless, France’s biggest trade body representing dairy producers, the FNPL, said that while it sympathised with the OPL, its position, was “akin to burying your head in the sand”.

“The FNPL does not agree with increasing quotas either but we recognise that this is now inevitable. Saying no to the increases is just too simplistic an argument. Our focus now is how best to prepare for a more liberalised market,’ an FNPL official told just-food today (22 May).