§ 45. Mr. Ralph Howell
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to support the introduction of on-farm quotas throughout the European Economic Community as a means of restricting large scale surplus production of milk.
§ Mr. MacGregor
The European Community has a massive and growing surplus of milk and dairy products which poses major problems of disposal both in terms of finding markets and in the budgetary consequences. The Government consider that the preferable route to achieve a better market balance in the milk sector is through price policy. But the necessary price cuts to achieve a balance in the market have not so far proved negotiable in the Community. Application of on-farm quotas is being discussed in the current negotiations to see whether it could provide an effective way of curbing production quickly. The Government are therefore examining whether the Commission's proposal for a supplementary levy can be turned into an acceptable arrangement for applying on-farm quotas.