Further “distinct” support for EU pigmeat is not justified according to European farm commissioner, Phil Hogan.
Speaking in Brussels this morning to a meeting of the European Parliament’s committee on agriculture and rural development, he cited “recent improvements in pigmeat prices” as evidence that the different support packages advanced during the last year by the European Commission (EC) were “starting to work”.
“As a result, there is widespread agreement among stakeholders in the sector that a distinct measure to further support pigmeat is not justified,” said Mr Hogan (pictured above).
The comment came as he reviewed yesterday’s approval by the EU council of farm ministers for the EC’s latest farm support package, which is worth €500 million (£416m) to Europe’s farmers.
While acknowledging that the new package is geared mainly to address dairy sector concerns, Mr Hogan tempered his message of there being no need for further pig sector support by stating that the €500m now being made available would be subject to “maximum flexibility” in terms of its use by member states.
As such, he added, other livestock sectors could access some of the new funding “if they wished”.
Copa & Cogeca response
Copa & Cogeca, the European farm and farm cooperatives body, responded by welcoming the new package in general but making it clear that it needed to see more of the fine details, including as they relate to pigmeat.
“We look forward to getting further clarification on the details when member state experts discuss the rescue package in the next weeks,” said Copa & Cogeca’s secretary general, Pekka Pesonen.
“We urge them to agree the package, which includes an update in the withdrawal price for fruit and vegetables and also pigmeat measures, as soon as possible to help improve producers’ cash flow problems.”