The need to find new market outlets for EU farm produce in China and the Middle East is included in a list of demands being advanced by Copa-Cogeca, the umbrella body for Europe’s farming unions.
The organisation’s call represents a significant stepping up of its response to the ban imposed by Russia on EU farm exports. The timing of their latest statement is also significant, coming as European Commission officials return to work next week.
Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen warned: “Around 10% of our exports are sent to Russia, worth 11bl annually, and the support allocated so far is not nearly enough.”
Adding that the ban is already hitting many countries across Europe hard, the secretary-general called for the “implementation of extraordinary market measures” whenever individual trading circumstances justify it. Such measures should include “accelerating” the delivery of direct payments, speeding up promotion campaigns to stimulate new demand and finding new market outlets for the produce in countries such as China and the Middle East.
Copa-Cogeca presidents, together with the leaders of national farm organisations and cooperatives from across Europe, will be gathering in Brussels next week to examine the extent of the damage and discuss what further action is needed, preparing their position ahead of a meeting of EU Ministers which is scheduled for September 5.