The EU Council of Ministers for agriculture has today (22 June) resisted calls to restrict dairy quotas.

Speaking after the meeting in Luxembourg, EU agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said this year EU dairy production had not exceeded existing quotas – but there had been an April production spike, which the Commission was investigating.

“We’re not taking decisions on the price of milk,” said Fischer Boel.

The meeting’s chair, Czech Republic agriculture minister Jakub Šebesta, added: “We are aware of the problems and are working intensively to resolve them.”

Dairy farmers have staged demonstrations in Luxembourg. Šebesta said he “regretted” these occasionally “had got out of hand”.

Šebesta stressed EUR1bn (US$1.38bn) in EU funds are available for rural development and that “member states could support milk producers” using this money, but that governments needed to look towards creating sustainable markets.

Fischer Boel noted the “huge market possibilities” within large emerging markets.