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Urgent Action Needed to Offset Severe Impact of Russian Ban on EU Pork

22 July 2015

EU - Copa and Cogeca sent a letter to EU Commissioner Phil Hogan today calling urgently for targeted action in the EU pigmeat sector to offset the severe impact of the Russian export ban.

Copa President Albert Jan Maat stressed: “There is an extremely difficult situation in the EU pigmeat market, partly as a result of the Russian export restrictions which were imposed at the end of January 2014.

"At that time, Russia banned the import of almost all pigs and pig products (96 per cent) from across the entire EU, after the outbreak of African Swine Fever in only several countries Poland and the Baltic countries (SPS ban). Later that year in August, the Russian authorities imposed a new set of import restrictions as a result of a political dispute between the EU and Russia, which has been prolonged until 2016.

“The EU pig sector has consequently been hit hard by Russia’s unjustified and disproportionate import restrictions. Russia was our number one export market. In spite of the introduction of the private storage scheme, prices are at critical levels, which has a major impact on producers’ margins and the sustainability of their farms.

"The situation in the pigmeat market is unbearable, forcing some out of business, which is particularly worrying when demand is expected to rise in the longer term. The Commission is in charge of the situation and it must take immediate action. If the situation is not improved, Member States must be allowed to negotiate with the Russian authorities their export certificates in order to re-establish trade in pigmeat as soon as possible,” Mr Maat continued.

Cogeca President Christian Pees said: “In particular, we urge the EU to intensify negotiations with Russia to get the SPS restrictions imposed on EU pig meat exports in early 2014 lifted. This would enable exports to Russian to resume for some products like edible offal and bacon which were not included in the global list of banned products resulting from the political dispute between the EU and Russia. We believe its crucial to find alternative markets and to tackle the long list of SPS and bureaucratic barriers in place in non-EU countries like Russia, Belarus, Japan, etc, some of which have free trade agreement with the EU including South Korea, Peru, Colombia. We also call for targeted measures in the regions worst affected by the ban.”

ThePigSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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