February 8, 2022
European Commission urged to adopt initiatives to help EU pig meat sector
The Chair of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee, Norbert Lins, and the majority of political groups in the committee have called on the European Commission to adopt "immediate initiatives aimed to alleviate the negative situation and anticipate serious disturbances in the pig meat sector".
This urgency was highlighted in a letter addressed on January 28 to the Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski.
According to the letter, the EU pig meat sector has suffered from profit margins pushed to "critically low levels", and this is due to "the increasing cost of inputs, notably of feed, but also electricity and veterinary services, the excess of supply because of the drop in demand from (China), due to sourcing from other regions and the negative impact of African swine fever (ASF) on export."
These effects resulted in "a higher pressure on the internal market that risks putting the resilience of the sector to an extreme test," the letter added.
"Furthermore, the outbreak of African swine fever in Italy earlier this month is very negative news. The situation could possibly become even worse if the export of Italian pork products, especially cured hams on third-country markets, collapses," the Agriculture Committee Chair said.
"Continued inaction [...] would lead to further (consolidation) of pork production in the EU and creation of centres of heavy industrial pork production with all negative environmental, climate and regionalisation effects in full contrast to our Green Deal and Farm to Fork objectives and ambitions," the letter warned.
"Targeted national measures in the pig sector under rural development programmes and State Aid or national aid [...] are not the most suitable to address the situation."
Lins argued "it is the moment for the commission to step in with strong support to the sector via non-discriminatory and ad-hoc promotional activities aimed at opening new market outlets and consolidate existing ones, as well as market intervention at EU level and expect that every effort has to be made to contain and eradicate the current outbreak."
- European Parliament