January 14, 2004
Farm Leaders Propose Plan To Revive EU Pig Industry
Farm leaders in the European Union have come up with a three-point plan to boost the pig industry, which has seen market prices fall to below the cost of production in recent months.
Ulster Farmers' Union president John Gilliland joined COPA (Europe's umbrella organisation for farming organisations) members in Brussels yesterday to discuss the current pig market, with several delegations describing the situation as catastrophic for producers.
John Gilliland says COPA will now be urging the EU Commission to respond to the ongoing situation by introducing a three point plan:
- Further use of the Aid to Private Storage Scheme currently in use
- Release remaining stocks of EU grain onto the market
- Use the export refunds system to ease the surplus of pigmeat on the EU market, while accounting for the market situation in Europe's accession countries.
John Gilliland said the UFU would be joining with other European farming organisations in pressing the EU Commission to respond urgently on behalf of pig farmers.
He said Danish delegates were optimistic that market conditions could improve in the coming weeks but swift action from the EU Commission was still a necessity.
The EU farming delegations also discussed the implementation of CAP reform across Europe.