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Euro Ministers Must Support New Crisis Measures

by 5m Editor
19 February 2008, at 1:56pm

EU - European pigmeat producers are facing an unprecedented crisis, with prices for pig feed having risen by almost 50 percent in recent months due to the low availability of feedstuffs, reports the UK's National Pig Association.

This increase has not been offset by a corresponding increase in the price of the meat, which instead has fallen by eight percent, says Copa, the European farmers' union, in a press statement. Producers are now losing up to £26 a pig.

Jean-Michel Lemetayer, president of Copa, and Gert Van Dijk , president of Cogeca, said, “Given that the market situation remains critical, urgent action is needed."

Widen Export Refunds

COPA and COGECA are calling on Brussels to widen the use of export refunds and to extend the storage period of pork currently in cold stores under Brussels' storage subsidy scheme, which ended in November.

They are also seeking help in finding a solution to producers’ cash-flow problems and want measures to increase the availability of feedstuffs, including the possible use of meat and bonemeal and an improvement in the European authorisation procedure for GMOs used in feed.

“If nothing is done we expect up to 20 percent of producers to go out of business in the next six to ten months. If this happened, we might no longer be able to guarantee the availability of pigmeat that society has come to expect. As a consequence, consumer prices would skyrocket," warned Jean-Michel Lemetayer.

COPA and COGECA have welcomed the European Commission's use of existing market management tools, including export refunds and private storage. However, they have called for an increase in the amount of export refunds and extend the eligibility list to new products.

The two organisation have also said that having the meat currently stored as part of private storage measures placed back on the internal market as of March would cause the meat price to plummet.

On 14 and 15 February, the presidents of COPA and COGECA's member organisations also insisted on the need to find a solution to producers' cash flow problems and to increase the availability of feedstuffs.

They called for a stimulation of European crop production, a discussion on the possibility of authorising the use of processed animal proteins and an improvement in the European authorisation procedure for GMOs used in feed.

5m Editor