EU Farm Ministers have once again failed to reach an agreement on changes to the current quota system as a strong contingent of 11 countries which included France, UK, Portugal, Hungary, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, created a blocking minority.
Germany, Austria and the Netherlands presented a compromise text attempting to reconcile diverging views among delegations, but only garnered the support of Ireland, Poland, Spain, Luxembourg and Latvia.
To reiterate, after the soft landing was introduced by the EU back in 2008 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 are pleased that discussions have been halted with the Italians stating that they will now stop these discussions.
This issue has been raised now at a number of previous council meetings, and with no agreement being taken countries exceeding their milk quota will have to pay the full superlevy fine.
Austria was furious; with their minister Andra Rupprechter stating that he will even boycott the Informal Agricultural Council in September.
He added that he will now, alongside his German and Dutch colleagues, write to the Commissioner, asking the Commission to move the butterfat adjustment. This is a strange move, since at the last Council Commissioner Cioloá¶ made clear that he would only consider changing the rules if he was given a strong mandate by Council.
Source: Farming Life