§ Mr. Heathcoat-Amory
asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether progress is being made in permitting greater flexibility in the transfer and acquisition of milk quotas.
§ Mr. Jopling
[pursuant to the reply, 5 March, c. 198]: Since the milk quota system was first introduced, my right hon. Friend and I have been seeking greater flexibility to allow the industry to develop efficiently. After consulting the industry I have concluded that it would be helpful to make greater use of the existing provision in the Community rules under which purchasers of milk may reallocate quota. Within this context there is room for a limited arrangement under which producers may agree to reallocate quota between themselves for up to one quota year.
I am pleased to say that the Dairy Produce Quotas Regulations 1986 which I am laying before the House include provision for such temporary reallocations to be registered by the purchasers of milk (the milk marketing boards). This facility will be available to producers for the new quota year starting on 1 April. This provision in the regulations is in addition to those which I announced in my reply of 6 March to my hon. Friend the Member for Dorset, North (Mr. Baker).