Europe’s farm leaders have welcomed the “extra measures” now included in the developing EU rescue package but have also warned that the steps taken so far are still “not sufficient” to solve the bad situation facing farmers.
Copa-Cogeca, responding to Tuesday’s informal meeting of EU Farm Ministers in Luxembourg, was largely appreciative of the fresh approach to private storage aid (PSA) for pigmeat and cheese, and positive on the EU promise to advance direct payments to farmers this autumn. At the same time, however, the organisation said the EU response still “falls short of our expectations”.
Copa president, Albert Jan Maat, urged the EU to recognise the importance of having a strong export strategy, backed by export insurance in the EU beef, pork and milk markets to cover “some of the trading risks”.
“Priority must also be given to re-opening the pigmeat and dairy trade with Russia,” he said.
Cogeca president, Christian Pees, added that the “severe impact” of the Russian export ban was costing producers €5.5 billion; that producers were also suffering the effects of “unfair and abusive practices” in the food chain, and that the European Commission has failed to deliver on both points.
He also said he “regretted the lack of measures in the EU pigmeat and beef sectors”, even though the pigmeat PSA was a “positive step”.
Promising that they would be engaging in further “talks” with officials to seek additional solutions, the two presidents said that Copa-Cogeca will continue to fight for a good deal for European farmers and agri-cooperatives.