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Volume 124: debated on Thursday 17 December 1987

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will raise in the Council of Agriculture Ministers the question of milk quotas with a view to (a) releasing the Scottish Milk Marketing Board area from the 5ยท5 per cent. temporary suspension of milk quota, (b) the introduction of a temporary measure to effect a small re-allocation of United Kingdom milk quota to the Scottish Milk Marketing Board area and (c) the release of part of the European Economic Community reserve milk quota, on a non-intervention basis, to the cheese producers of the United Kingdom.

The shortages of milk for cheesemaking which have occurred in parts of the United Kingdom primarily reflect problems relating to pricing, marketing and distribution rather than to quota levels. I and my noble Friend Lord Sanderson have discussed this issue with individual marketing boards and I am now hopeful of the outcome.