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Milk Producers

Volume 78: debated on Thursday 2 May 1985

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has about the arrangements for lists of milk producers to be held in European Economic Community member states for the application of the supplementary levy; what member states are doing to implement these arrangements; and what measures are available to monitor effective implementation.

The administrative arrangements for the supplementary levy place much of the responsibility on the purchasers of milk who are required by Commission Regulation 1371/84 to hold at the disposal of authorities in member states records covering the previous three years, showing on a quarterly basis for each producer:

  • (i) name and address;
  • (ii) quantities of milk purchased during the quarter concerned and during the corresponding quarters of the reference year adopted by the Member State;
  • (iii) quarterly quota;
  • (iv) quantities of milk or milk equivalent purchased during the quarter which are over quota.
  • Member states are not required to aggregate these records nationally. The Regulation also requires member states to adopt appropriate measures to ensure collection of levy, including inspection measures and to ensure that those concerned are aware of the sanctions for non-compliance.Dairies purchasing milk would normally have records of their supplying producers and the volume of purchases.Our inquiries on the situation in other member states indicate that in Belgium there are numerous dairy co-operatives who account for almost all production and have adequate records. In Denmark the milk committee of the Danish Dairy Federation is in a position to prepare a list of producers sending milk to the dairy co-operatives. In France each purchasing dairy maintains records on a daily basis of producers' deliveries and these are liable to periodic inspection by the French intervention agency. In Germany the records held by dairies would be subject to inspection by the Lander authorities. In Ireland lists of producers are generally held by the co-operatives. In Luxembourg the purchasing dairies have good records. In the Netherlands full records are held by the commodity boards for dairying and have already been used for making checks. In Italy a census of all milk producers has been carried out. In Greece administrative arrangements are being introduced but production is in any case well below quota. We have had no reports suggesting that the lack of centrally held records creates difficulties for administration through the purchasers of milk.The Commission is examining the measures taken by member states to verify that the Community regulations have been respected. It has available powers to penalise member states which fail to implement the arrangements and has already made use of them. Moreover the Commission has said that it will be making use of the provisions available to it which enable their officials to carry out inspections in the Member States. In making their inspections they have the right to examine relevant documents to ensure that administrative and financial arrangements have been correctly carried out.