EU urged to improve “response time” on crisis loans for farmers

Improvements in EU “response time” during periods of crisis, especially in relation to the pork and dairy sectors, has been called for by Copa & Cogeca following this week’s meeting of EU Farm Ministers in Luxembourg.

The call was promoted by the ministers’ discussion of the EU’s latest “omnibus regulation” which largely focused on planned CAP greening simplification measures, for implementation in January 2018. The discussion also included the future release of crisis loans for farmers under the EU’s rural development policy (RDP), which was the point picked up by Copa & Cogeca.

The current “omnibus” plan includes some changes to the EU’s financial instruments to make it easier for farmers to get RDP loans. According to Copa-cogeca secretary-general, Pekka Pesonen, however, the key change which is needed is for the delivery of a “better response in times of crisis” with pork and dairy producers being most in need of help.

He also warned of the fragile state of the commodity markets, with producers continuing to be hit by low market prices and high input costs.

EU farm commissioner, Phil Hogan, also used the word “fragile” during his post-meeting press conference when referring to the rate recovery within the pig and dairy sectors since the release in July this year of the latest EU support package, which is worth £416m to member states.

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