The European farmers body, Copa-Cogeca, has written to MEPs urging them to reject European Commission (EC) plans to slash agriculture spending in the 2015 EU budget and re-allocate it.
The organisation says the move is “totally unacceptable” at a time when farmers and agri-cooperatives are faced with an unprecedented crisis caused by the Russian ban on farm exports.
“Prices have plummeted by over 50% for some agriculture products as a result of the Russian ban,” said Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen. “Now is not the time to start cutting agriculture expenditure in 2015 and re-directing it for other purposes.”
Support for the farmers’ case has already been “voiced” by out-going EC farm commissioner, Dacian Cioloș, who was reported, via a tweet issued by EU spokesman for Agriculture and Rural Development, Roger Waite, as stating: “I must accept Comm. decision on 2015 EU budget, but feel very strongly this is NOT the time to move money out of the CAP.”
The final word from Copa-Cogeca, meanwhile, was that farmers feel like they have been “left out in the cold”.