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EU backs milk production cuts to tackle low prices

A cow is prepared for milking at a farm in Brittany, western FranceThe European Union voiced support on Monday for temporary cuts in milk production by farmers in member states in a bid to reverse the plunge in prices that has shaken the dairy industry. The European Commission, the executive of the 28-nation bloc, said it would soon send member states the proposal which is required as an emergency exception to rules guaranteeing economic competition. “I am prepared to propose the application of such rules whereby the Commission… would decide to permit on a temporary basis such voluntary agreements for the dairy sector,” EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan told a crisis meeting of agriculture ministers in Brussels greeted by scores of protesting farmers.

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