December 12, 2008
The European Commission Thursday (December 11) proposed a scheme to help Irish pig farmers who have been hard hit by revelations of dioxin contamination at a number of farms in Ireland.
Under the plan, the European Commission, the European Union's executive branch, will pay pork producers who put their product into private storage.
The total payments will be capped at EUR15 million for up to 30,000 tonnes of pork.
The idea is to help prop up pork prices at a time when consumers may be afraid to buy pork.
"The meat can then be sold out of storage at a later date when the market has recovered," said European Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel.
Pork from the farms affected by dioxin contamination won't be eligible and storage will be limited to six months.
A committee of experts from the 27 EU countries must approve the plan, commission agriculture spokesman Michael Mann said.