European farm commissioner, Phil Hogan, needs to get himself to Russia to put an end to the country’s damaging ban on EU farm produce imports, a high-level meeting of farming leaders was told in Brussels this morning.
Called by Copa-Cogeca, today’s meeting features the presidents of all the EU’s farming unions, including a full turn-out from the UK. Designed to focus on the income crisis affecting the pigmeat and dairy sectors, the meeting drew immediate and sharp comments from delegates on the continued impact of the Russian ban on EU producers.
The “get yourself to Russia” call came from the president of LTO Netherlands, Albert Jan Maat, who also said his members were demanding “stronger efforts” to be taken to end the Russian ban. LTO, which is part of a Dutch agriculture and horticulture grouping of nearly 50,000 farmers, also wants the European Commission to increase its support for farm produce exports.
The meeting heard a similar message from Copa-Cogeca’s pigmeat working party, Antonio Tavares.
Warning that the pork market is in a “bad situation” at present, with producers going out of the industry, he pointed to the Russian market as a key solution to the current crisis, arguing that the market “must re-open” to enable the EU pork situation to improve.
Headline image shows the meeting in full flow