Copa and Cogeca welcome recognition by EU Farm Commissioner Phil Hogan and ministers of EU dairy and pigmeat market problems

Copa and Cogeca welcome the fact that EU Farm Commissioner Phil Hogan and EU Farm Ministers acknowledged that the EU dairy and pigmeat markets are in a critical state and called for action.

Speaking after EU Farm Ministers meeting, Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said “I am glad that Mr Hogan and all Ministers agreed that the dairy and pork markets are in crisis. The situation at farm level is worsening, with farmers facing severe cash flow problems which are likely to continue not only this Spring but throughout the year. Without action, many producers will be forced out of business. And I hope member states will submit strong credible measures to improve the bad situation in their proposals to be made by February 25″.

“In the dairy sector, with producer prices below production costs in many countries, we urge Member States to implement measures foreseen in the aid package especially not delay payment of the targeted aid and direct payments to partially alleviate producers cash flow problems. The EU milk intervention price, which does not take account of higher production costs, also needs to be reassessed to see how it can be made more efficient as it is creating downward pressure on prices. Exports must also be stepped up and new markets found. In the pigmeat sector, prices remain very low, and we urge the EU to intensify negotiations with Russia to re-open the Russian market – our number one export market for pigmeat > as soon as possible. We also need to develop a mechanism that encourages pork exports like export credits and find new market outlets for our produce. Finally, we support the measures proposed by the Spanish Minister today in the vegetables sub-sector. Crisis management measures need to be reviewed and withdrawal prices increased”, he concluded.

In response to EU Ministers talks, Copa and Cogeca underline the high animal welfare rules in the EU which need to be simplified & better enforced rather than creating new legislation

Reacting to EU Ministers talks today on the setting up of a new EU animal welfare platform, Copa and Cogeca highlighted the high welfare standards that exist in the EU and the need to ensure that they are simplified and better enforced rather than creating new legislation.

The move came after a position paper was presented by Germany, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands at Ministers meeting today and a new EU animal welfare platform was discussed.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen stressed “The focus must be on ensuring proper implementation and harmonisation of existing EU rules rather than creating new legislation. Future developments on animal welfare need to focus on simplifying existing legislation, giving more flexibility to operators and reducing the high administrative costs they suffer. The link between this platform (work and coordination) and the Reference Centers also need to be clarified. Despite the difficult market situation, we also want to highlight that farmers, together with other stakeholders, are already putting in place voluntary initiatives to improve animal welfare during transport to help economic operators in the sector assure an even higher level of animal welfare. Our views were also backed in the Commissions’ assessment of the Animal Welfare Strategy 2012-2015 and the European Parliaments’ resolution voted on at the end of last year. They stated that existing welfare legislation still needs to be correctly enforced throughout the EU, and in a harmonized way across all Member States”.

Wrapping up Pekka Pesonen said “I also welcome the concerns expressed by some Ministers today about the lower welfare standards outside the EU and imports coming into the EU that do not have to meet the EU’s high and costly standards”.

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