March 28, 2017

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Additional resources for Agricultural Policy Formation in the European Community: The Birth of Milk Quotas and Cap Reform

Sample text

Hence the main instrument of pressure consists of the positions taken by the FNSEA both publicly and privately in the numerous consultative bodies advising the government, of which the FNSEA is a member. The FNSEA has also an influence on the semi-public APCA (see below) through the support it may give to or withhold from farmers who are candidates in elections to that organization. Behaviour during the period under study Given the importance of dairy policy to the FNSEA and its distrust of the government, one can understand why the FNSEA was opposed to dairy quotas.

The proposed levy on "intensive production" was not taken very seriously because of the practical difficulty of calculating milk production per forage hectare. On cereals a majority was in favour of a more stringent price policy and more active measures to encourage the use of EC grown grains as livestock feed. But although an EC Cereal Export Board, similar to those of Australia and Canada, was suggested, the majority were opposed to the idea of an EC-operated export policy, as suggested by France.

Commenting on its results, Agra-Europe stated that although there was evidence of a move towards agreement on dairy quotas, the major stumbling-blocks to agreement (dairy policy, cereals, MCAs and the proposed "strict financial guidelines") were expected to go forward to the December summit "largely undecided". For dairy quotas a "flexible base year" was reported to have been considered, with strong opposition to any exemptions "for Ireland or anyone else". From several quarters it appeared that the dairy quota solution was being seriously considered: at a meeting of senior government and academic economists the view that "no Minister of Agriculture would accept price cuts at the level necessary to stabilize or reduce production" seemed to be widely accepted.

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