ANALYSIS - In the news this week, EU Member States have voted to close the Private Storage Aid (PSA) for pigmeat.
The scheme had only been operational for three weeks, after opening on 4 January 2016.
The decision to close the scheme was taken after the planned volumes of products were reached. Taking in any more product could risk bringing an imbalance to the market when the stored product is released further down the line.
The most recent information shows that the total quantity of product put into storage, most of it for a period of five months, was 89,841 tonnes at an estimated cost of €27.6 million.
Also in the EU this week, Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has said that despite positive trade figures for EU agriculture, farmers' incomes remain a priority.
Speaking at the European Commission, Mr Hogan said that there had been a slight decrease in trade in October last year, but the latest figures for November saw agricultural trade for the EU reach €10.9 billion, up by about €500 million on the same month in the previous year.
He said that EU exports to third countries have risen by 5.7 per cent in value with the USA and China taking the lion’s share and China replacing Russia as Europe’s second most important export destination.
Despite this, farmers’ incomes are to be given top priority this year by the European Commission as it seeks to ensure “a fair return for producers for their products”.
He added that farmers’ incomes will be helped by the new World Trade Agreement that does away with export subsidies around the world – a situation that has existed in the EU for several years.
“The deal will allow the playing field to be levelled for EU farmers and the food industry,” Commissioner Hogan said.
In disease news, Canada has called for a national disease management strategy to control the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus (PEDv).
Dr Doug MacDougald, a veterinarian with Southwest Ontario Veterinary Services, explained how the country's experience with PEDv has clearly demonstrated the need for a nationally coordinated strategy for dealing with trans-boundary animal diseases.
Speaking to FarmScape, Dr MacDougald said: "Canada does not have an overarching swine health strategy. Each of the provinces responded to the trans-boundary disease threat of PED differently and with little coordination between the provinces. That clearly identified gaps in response and on a common outcome of, for example, elimination."
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