UK dairy to host EU CAP debate

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dairy, Dairy uk, European union

Experts on EU agriculture policy will attend a meeting in the UK
early next year, organised by the country's dairy industry to
kick-start the build up to new reforms.

Industry association Dairy UK said it would host the seminar, entitled 'CAP Reform: What Lies Ahead', on 16 February, to give dairy officials the chance to hear views from decision-makers in the European Commission.

The event will kick-start what is set to be an important year of debate in the dairy industry, before the Commission's planned dairy sector review in 2008.

Jim Begg, Director General, Dairy UK said: "The future of the Common Agricultural Policy for the dairy sector will come under intense scrutiny in 2007 and could lead to decisions within a year that wouldhave far reaching implications for the UK dairy industry."

Thorkild Rasmussen, from the Commission's agriculture department, will be the keynote speaker at the Dairy UK seminar. Other guests are set to include Andrew Lawrence, Head of CAP Strategy Division, the UK's Department of Envrionment, Food and Rural Affairs and MarkVoorbergen, a dairy specialist with Rabobank.

One issue likely to be high on the agenda over the next year is the EU milk quota system.

The Commission has all but said it would ditch milk quotas if the dairy industry decided collectively it did not want them anymore.

"I would note tentatively that more member states now seem to be coming round to the view that quotas are coming to the end of their usefulness,"​ said Paul Christofferson, head of cabinet for agriculture commissioner Mariann Fische Boel, to industry delegates.

Milk quotas will become less relevant for dairy farmers' incomes as EU dairy intervention prices fall further and EU market prices come closer to world market levels, according to Siemen Van Berkum, who recently published an in-depth report on the policy.

Current rules would keep milk quotas in place until at least 2015, but Van Berkum's report argued larger dairies may benefit from an earlier end date.

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