EU - The European agricultural organisation, Copa-Cogeca has attacked EU Commission plans to slash agriculture spending in 2015 when it says farmers and agri-cooperatives have been hit by an unprecedented Russian crisis
Copa-Cogeca sent a letter to MEPs today urging them to reject EU Commission plans to slash agriculture spending in the 2015 EU budget and re-allocate it.
This is totally unacceptable when farmers and agri-cooperatives are faced with an unprecedented crisis caused by the Russian ban on farm exports worth 11 billion euros, Copa-Cogeca warned.
Speaking in Brussels, Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said “Prices have plummeted by over 50 per cent for some agriculture products as a result of the Russian ban.
"Now is not the time to start cutting agriculture expenditure in 2015 and re-directing it for other purposes. Farmers must not pay twice for this embargo which was not their fault in the first place.
"We cannot accept another blow to the agriculture sector. Farmers feel like they have been left out in the cold.
“Measures taken so far by the EU Commission to help alleviate pressure on producers hit by the embargo were a good step forward but further targeted action is crucial to prevent producers from going out of business.
"It is totally irresponsible that the Commission should consider reducing funds now when farmers and agri-cooperative need all the help they can get. Normally 29 per cent of EU fruit and vegetable exports are normally sent to Russia, 24 per cent of pigmeat exports and 33 per cent of cheese exports.
"Yet farmers and agri-cooperatives have received only a fraction of the total value of the exports as compensation.
"With food demand set to rise by 60 per cent by 2050 , we cannot afford to cut spending and jeopardise food production”, he said.
Copa-Cogeca is urging MEPs and Ministers to act responsibly and not accept another blow to the agriculture sector.
Additional funds and targeted measures are vital to ensure a viable sector for the future, the organisation said.
TheMeatSite News Desk