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Weekly Overview: European Commission Activates New Measures to Combat Pork Market Crisis

21 March 2016, at 12:00am

ANALYSIS - The European Commission has activated additional exceptional measures to combat the crisis in agricultural markets, after a meeting of ministers which was met by farmer protesters in Brussels last week.

The new measures, outlined by Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, make use of all the tools made available in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to support EU farmers, whilst remaining flexible to the needs of different member states, the Commission said.

For the pig industry, the opening of a new pigmeat private storage aid was considered. It was also decided to establish a Meat Market Observatory which will look specifically at trends in the pork and beef markets.

The Commission also said it will give its full consideration to a temporary extension of state aid that would allow member states to provide to a maximum of €15,000 per farmer per year, and no national ceiling would apply.

It also noted that the Russian situation continues to be monitored and that they are working hard to lift the ban. In the meantime, over €30 million has been specifically earmarked for finding new markets for pigmeat and dairy products.

Reacting to the new aid package, EU farmers' organisation Copa and Cogeca said it’s a move forward and has the potential to alleviate pressure hitting the EU agricultural markets, but it remains to be seen how it will work in practice.

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