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EU Pig Sector Calls for Key Changes

by 5m Editor
9 December 2010, at 12:34pm

EU - The representatives of the European farmers organisations, the meat industry and the feed industry COPA/COGECA, UECBV, FEFAC highlighted the case for a comprehensive action plan seeking to move the EU pig sector out of the present crisis situation at the Reflection Day organised by the Flemish Minister President Kris Peeters this week.

They insisted on the need to take a long-term approach to reinforce the long-term viability of the pig sector enhancing its capacity to supply sustainable, competitive pork to consumers in the EU and on world markets.

They are proposing a series of short-term, mid-term and long-term measures to maintain and develop the EU pork sector’s position as a world leader.

In the short term they want to see a key focus on reduction of production cost and effective market manegment measures.

The organisations say there are basically three categories of feed materials rich in protein: - Grain legumes (protein crops): peas, beans, lupins, soya and Co-products from the processing of oilseeds and grains: soybean meal, rapeseed meal.

Short-term actions to overcome the present market crisis include:

  • Strengthen effective market management tools and put measures in place to reduce excessive price volatility for the pig sector both for feed and meat and meat products.
  • Implement an EU wide protein plan to ensure adequate supplies of protein-rich feed to pig farmers at competitive prices, including o incentives to increase vegetable protein production in the EU, o the adoption of a GM “technical solution” o the lifting of the feed ban for processed animal proteins in pig feed
  • Don’t hamper competitiveness by imposing restrictive measures that EU cannot impose on third countries.

The mid-term actions to improve competitiveness and profitability of the pig sector include:

  • Grant pork “sensitive product” status in any ongoing or upcoming EU trade negotiation
  • Ensure a level-playing field with third-country competitors.
  • Increase efforts to capture and increase market share for EU pork exports in growth markets, particular in South-East Asia.

The long-term actions to ensure sustainability and viability of pork production in the EU include to:

  • Foster product innovation and modernisation in the pork production value chain
  • Focus on private and public R&D programmes seeking to improve the knowledge base and
  • Develop & adapt new technologies and their dissemination in the EU pig sector.