Flemish Action Plan for Current Crisis

21 December 2011, at 1:43pm

BELGIUM - The Flemish government has launched a major new action plan to support the pig farming sector, which will not only help it through the current crisis but also, in the words of agriculture minister, Kris Peeters, allow it to 'play for a place in the Champions’ League'.

The plan involves 22 measures divided across four main areas: transparency, promoting quality, investing in research and structural reform. The measures were decided after Mr Peeters called on those involved in the sector including farmers, government, researchers, slaughterhouses, food processors, retail and banks to come together with ideas.

Over the course of six days, a plan was formulated to make the sector “competitive, profitable and sustainable,” Mr Peeters said.

Over the next two years, a premium of €100 will be paid out for every piglet of the Piétrain breed, the typical “Flemish pig”, said Mr Peeters. A code of good slaughter practice will be produced and the grading system simplified.

The “practice centre” for the pork industry, which will provide information for anyone involved in the sector, will receive a subsidy of €140,000 a year and €2m will be spent on extending research facilities relating to the industry. Finally, the Flemish Agricultural Investment Fund (VLIF) will see its budget increased by €2.5 million for 2012.