Estonia keen on abolishing milk quotas

  • 2008-01-16
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - Estonia and Sweden have spoken out in favor of scrapping the EU's milk quota system, as well as liberalizing the entire agricultural policy, long considered one of the most ineffective spheres of the economic union.
Estonian Agriculture Minister Helir-Valdur Seeder and his Swedish colleague Eskil Erlandsson discussed scrapping the milk quota during the latter's visit to the Baltic states.
Agriculture Ministry spokeswoman Karina Loi said that both ministers believe that getting rid of the milk quotas was a matter of effectiveness. Both Estonian and Swedish producers would like to produce more than the present quota allow, she said.

Currently the EU's milk quota system ensures higher prices but hampers productivity.
Scrapping the quota would make it possible to produce more but at the same time lower the shelf price of milk, which in many countries, such as Latvia, is growing more expensive by the week.
Loi said the price of milk in the European Union was now higher than on the world market and that in Estonia the price of milk was lower than after accession to the EU in 2004.
Formally Estonia's present position is that the quota should be increased for the time being but abolished overall in the long term.

Other countries such as Denmark, Latvia and the Netherlands are in favor of scrapping the quota while Finland and France are against it.