A European Commission move to introduce private storage aid for pigmeat, to ease pressure on the EU pigmeat market, has been voted on today by Member States and will be formally opened next week.
Under the scheme, the EC will finance a fixed amount to contribute to the basic costs of storage for certain pigmeat cuts (for 90-150 days) – for example for hams the rate varies between 254 /tonne (£186.50/t) for 90 days and 257 /t (£188.70/t) for 150 days. The Commission is now preparing an Implementing Regulation which will contain all technical details.
“I believe private storage aid is the most effective tool available to us to address the difficult market situation,” said EC farm commissioner, Phil Hogan.
“This measure will remove a considerable volume of product from the market, which should have the effect of putting a floor under the market, stabilising the financial situation of farmers and should enable the market to recover by stimulating the fragile recovery in prices.”
An EC spokesperson added: “Under the combined effect of Russian import barriers and the increase in EU production, prices have considerably decreased on all European markets.
“Even if there is a hint of slow recovery, the EU pig price is still 20% below the five-year average, and has been more than 15% below the five-year average for six months.
“Gross margins are also more than 15% below the historical average and with many producers having been in a situation of negative revenue for a number of months, farmers are facing serious problems of liquidity.”