PSA should start in December not January say EU farm leaders

The European Commission’s plan to get private storage aid (PSA) for pigmeat up and running “early in the New Year” isn’t good enough, according to Copa-Cogeca, the EU farm and farm cooperatives organisation.

“We are calling for pigmeat PSA to be introduced in December rather than January,” said Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen, “and we urge the EC and member states to act on this.

Adding that PSA was the only measure for pigmeat included in the EC’s autumn aid package, Mr Pesonen said the programme would be much more effective if introduced in December, rather than waiting another month.

“Without timely action,” he warned, “many pig producers will be forced out of business.”

IFA wants export refunds

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA), meanwhile, wants the EC to explore other support options for pig producers.

Warning that Irish pig farmers are now operating at price levels which are equivalent to 14p/kg below breakeven, IFA pigs committee chairman, Pat O’Flaherty described PSA as “only a temporary solution”.

“We are requesting the Commission to look at export refunds as a more long term solution,” he said.

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