Agriculture and rural development

The end of milk quotas

The end of milk quotas

The end of milk quotas
The end of milk quotas

On 31 March 2015 the EU milk quota regime has come to an end. On this page you find a selection of relevant information around this event.

Press material ( 26/03/2015)

  • Press conference on "A new CAP for more growth: the end of milk quotas":



First introduced in 1984 at a time when EU production far outstripped demand, the milk quota regime was one of the tools introduced for overcoming these structural surpluses.

Successive reforms of the EU's Common Agriculture Policy have increased the market-orientation of the sector and, in parallel, provided a range of other, more targeted instruments to help support producers in vulnerable areas, such as mountain areas where the costs of production are higher.

The final date to end quotas was first decided in 2003 in order to provide EU producers with more flexibility to respond to growing demand, especially on the world market.

It was reconfirmed in 2008 with a range of measures aimed at achieving a "soft landing".

Even with quotas, EU dairy exports have increased by 45% in volume and 95% in value in the last 5 years.

Market projections indicate that the prospects for further growth remain strong – in particular for added-value products, such as cheese, but also for ingredients used in nutritional, sports and dietary products.

 >> Watch "A short history of milk quotas in the EU"

>> More detailed historical timeline

>> Detailed figures on milk quota use


Further information

Short video clips


Milk Market Observatory (MMO)

The aim of the MMO - introduced in April 2014 - is to provide the EU dairy sector with more transparency by means of disseminating market data and short-term analysis in a timely mannerand to foster the dialogue between market analysts along the milk supply chain.

>> Go to the MMO


Milk market situation

Monthly updated slide-show.

>> Go to the latest update


Short-term outlook for EU arable crops, dairy and meat markets

Based on reflections of market experts within the European Commission, using the latest data available.

>> Go to the Winter 2015 edition