September 18, 2015 10:43 am
Dairy quota was first introduced in 1984 at a time when EU production exceeded demand; the quota regime was one of the tools introduced to deal with this surplus. Actually, farmers ask for milk production quota to be reintroduced, after its expiry last April. During the last two weeks mainly French, Belgian and German farmers have protested outside the European Institutions both in Brussels and in Luxembourg because of the dramatic price fall of their produce. A similar protest took place one month ago in the United Kingdom where farmers protested over the milk prices, and farming leaders along with ministers were preoccupied with the future of dairy farming in the UK. In response to this protest, the European Commission announced last Tuesday the supply of a 500 million euro aid package for European dairy farmers.
According the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development – Short Term Winter Report, which presents the short term outlook for the arable crops, meat and dairy markets in the EU for 2014-16, there was an exceptional rise in milk supply in 2014, both in the EU and worldwide. This led to a significant price decrease, aggravated by the Russian import ban. A decrease in demand from China, as its economy is slowing, is also a factor in the declining prices of European agricultural products, according to the European Milk Board.
Since the farmers’ protest over this issue has been on the news for the last two weeks, TermCoord has selected the term “dairy quota” as the IATE term of the week. According to the Oxford Dictionary the word quota stands for “the limited number or amount of people or things that is officially allowed”.
After the quota introduction in the EU, each individual producer or purchaser should respect a specific quota, with a fine payable for those who exceed their quota. After subsequent changes, producers have to pay the fine only when the Member State also exceeds its national quota. After only five months of the quota expiry, farmers call for its reintroduction since the surplus of production is detrimental to them.
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Written by Georgia NTAI
Communication Trainee at TermCoord
Student at the University of Luxembourg
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