The need to look at enhanced and alternative measures to the EU’s private storage scheme was a key topic of discussion earlier this week between the newly re-elected chairman of Copa-Cogeca’s Pigmeat Working Party, Antonio Tavares, and the European Commission (EC).
While welcoming private storage as having been a “positive step”, Mr Tavares urged EC officials to expand the programme to include fat and lard, the products which he said were “mostly affected by the Russian ban”.
“In addition, this scheme should allow operators to destock during the period of private storage as soon as market conditions are better,” he said, adding that it was also important to ensure that any low-value products, that are currently in storage and no longer fit for consumption, are removed.
The Working Party chairman said it was “paramount” to find new market outlets for pigmeat and to remove any sanitary and phytosanitary barriers, and other unnecessary obstacles to trade, to prevent prices dropping again when the meat comes out of storage.
Mr Tavares, following his re-election, is set to lead the Working Party in “developing a new common strategy on animal welfare”, while also looking at ways to enable producers to get a better price or premium for their produce in return for their application of high welfare standards.
He has also committed Copa-Cogega’s pig farming representatives to “striving to increase the competitiveness and sustainability of the sector by stepping up research and innovation, especially in the field of resource efficiency, monitoring production costs and livestock precision farming”.
Mr Tavares, who comes from Portugal, is supported in his two-year Working Party mandate by two new vice-chairman appointments in Miguel-Angel Higuera from Spain and Margaret Aberg from Sweden.