An extraordinary meeting of the EU Agriculture Council has been scheduled for September 7 by the Luxembourg presidency, specifically to address the “growing concern” about the economic crisis which is affecting livestock producers in certain member states.
The calling of the meeting, which will take place in Brussels, follows a significant increase in pressure in recent days from governments and organisations across Europe concerning the severe economic problems being faced by livestock farmers, particularly in the dairy and pigmeat sectors.
Several points of “protest” have been raised:
- Copa-cogeca, the EU farmer and farm cooperative body, sent a letter to the European Commission in mid-July calling for “urgent action” to offset the severe impact of the Russian crisis on the EU pigmeat sector.
- The French government took its own action in announcing a €600 million (£420m) rescue plan for its livestock industry, stating that it believed 10% of farmers were facing bankruptcy.
- The president of the FWA, the farmers’ union in southern Belgium, Daniel Coulonval, described the current livestock situation the EU as “catastrophic”.
The Luxembourg government response today, in calling the Sept. 7 meeting, further emphasised a commitment it made when taking over the EU presidency a month ago.
“Sustainability must be the fundamental principle for the future development of European agriculture,” said the Luxembourg administration, adding that, alongside focusing on simplifying rules and procedures for farmers, the six-month presidency would be marked by attention to the “impact of the Russian embargo on certain EU agricultural products” as a matter of priority.