New Chairman of Copa-Cogecas’ beef working party Jean Pierre Fleury from France warned of the critical state of the EU beef market faced with the Russian ban on farm exports and exceptional dairy market situation and urged the European Commission to take action immediately.
Speaking after the vote, Mr Fleury said “Everyone was unanimous today in the working party in warning that the beef market is in a state of crisis. Prices have plummeted across the EU. The ban imposed by Russia on farm exports, which is weighing heavily on the sector, is down to politics and was not farmers or agri-cooperatives fault yet we are the ones paying the price for it. Funds must therefore not come out of the CAP budget to solve this crisis. Action must be taken immediately. Copa-Cogeca working party stresses that the Commission can take emergency measures in view of the exceptional situation ».
Outlining key actions, Mr Fleury said “We urge the Commission to introduce measures rapidly to help support the market including export support. The Commission must pursue a vigorous export promotion campaign and give its support to finding new market outlets. Sanitary barriers and unnecessary obstacles to trade must also be lifted, especially in the emerging economies and developed countries”.
Wrapping up, Mr Fleury said “The European beef sector plays a vital role in ensuring growth and jobs mostly in rural areas where often no alternative sources of employment exist. It is crucial for the European economy. The sector must remain competitive and the Commission must use all means at its disposal in activating emergency measures and finding new market outlets for our quality produce. We will keep up the pressure until solutions are put on the table”.
Mr Fleury, from the French Farm Organisation FNSEA, is a beef producer with 190 suckler cows farming an area of 290 ha. He is also President of the National beef Federation in France. Mr Andrew Foot from the NFU of England and Wales and Ms Verena Schutz from DRV Germany were elected Vice-Presidents for a two year term.