At a high-level meeting with the Italian presidency, Copa-Cogeca said it welcomed action already taken by the EU to alleviate pressure on fruit, vegetable and dairy producers, following the Russian ban on exports, but said more was needed.
The issue of support for producers was debated by EU farm ministers in Luxembourg yesterday (13 October).
Albert Jan Maat, Copa president, spoke on behalf on the organisation at the meeting. "This crisis is not the fault of the EU agriculture sector yet they are the ones paying the price for it. Additional funds from outside of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget are vital," he said.
"Since we normally export 24% of the total value of EU pigmeat exports to Russia, this sector has been suffering for months by the ban. Action must be taken to improve the situation, in particular for specific products like fat and by-products. Promotion campaigns for pigmeat must also be set up," continued Jan Maat.
He said that the application of article 222 of the CAP was necessary to enable producer organisations like agri-cooperatives to react quickly.
"We also need to encourage export promotion campaigns to stimulate new demand and find new market outlets for our produce. Red tape needs to be cut and non-tariff barriers to trade tackled," he added.