The prospect of another private storage aid (PSA) scheme for pigmeat has definitely “not been ruled out” according to European farm commissioner, Phil Hogan, despite his “disappointment” over the poor take-up of previous schemes by certain member states.
The commissioner was speaking at the end of last night’s meeting in Strasbourg of the European Parliament’s agriculture committee, when MEPs spent two hours debating the EU’s current agricultural crisis.
“We’ve already had two PSA schemes in the past year, of course, at a cost of €44 million (£34m),” he said. “Some member states didn’t participate in those, such as France in particular, where only 2.5m tonnes out of a total of 90m tonnes was delivered into the scheme.
“Obviously there is an issue (in France) to be resolved. Processors and operators in the country said that because of cashflow they couldn’t participate in the scheme. That didn’t stop Germany or Spain from putting 25m tonnes each into PSA, however.
“Maybe we have to look at why it works in Germany and Spain, and to a certain extent in Poland, but why not in France and Romania.”
Mr Hogan (pictured above) added that the lack of take-up of PSA in some countries was certainly “disappointing”.
“Maybe we will have to have member state quotas (for future schemes),” he said. “We are willing to keep this under review, however, because we have not seen the lift in prices that we should have with 90,000 tonnes being taken off the market. That’s a significant volume.
“So, we’re not ruling out another scheme in 2016. I’d have to find the budget for that, of course, but we will have to do something in a few months’ time if we don’t see the increase in prices that we need.”