31 March 2015 marks the end of the EU's dairy quotas. In the context of a reformed Common Agriculture Policy this provides EU producers with more flexibility to respond to growing demand, especially on the world market and create more jobs.
The EU Dairy quota regime comes to an end on 31 March 2015. First introduced in 1984 at a time when EU production far outstripped demand, the quota regime was a first step in overcoming these structural surpluses. Successive reforms of the EU's Common Agriculture Policy have increased the market-orientation of the sector and provided a range of other, more targeted instruments.
Speaking ahead of the end of the quota regime, EU Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development Phil Hogan stated: "The end of the milk quota regime is both a challenge and an opportunity for the Union. It is a challenge because an entire generation of dairy farmers will have to live under completely new circumstances and volatility will surely accompany them along the road. But it certainly is an opportunity in terms of growth and jobs. Through increased focus on valued added products as well as on ingredients for "functional" food, the dairy sector has the potential of being an economic driver for the EU."