18th September 2009


Dear Editor,

I am delighted that yesterday Conservative MEP’s were able to secure concessions to help protect the Dairy Farm industry.

The new measures will provide much needed short term assistance to beleaguered dairy farmers across the South West struggling in the current economic climate.


I was pleased to vote in favour of a Parliamentary resolution that will extend the current price intervention scheme in the milk sector. This will provide our farmers with much needed financial security in the current financial climate.


The resolution also reaffirms a commitment to abolish milk quotas by 2015, while raising quotas annually till that time, to provide a financial "soft landing" to the industry as a whole.


I was disappointed that the Commission tried to change the rules surrounding the milk "super-levy".  This would mean that a farmer would have to pay a levy every litre of milk they produce in excess of their quota, even if the UK as a whole was under the quota.


At best this would have been a short term, knee jerk reaction to the current climate but in the long term it would unfairly penalise efficient producers who are making long term commitments to milk production.


We must learn that market price volatility is here to stay and that while abolishing quotas and short term price intervention is to be welcomed we must accept that, post-2013, there will need to be some form of long term intervention support in order to allow both the milk industry and the consumer a degree of stability.


Yours Faithfully,


Ashley Fox MEP

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