EU - The European Commission is to examine the difficulties that the pig sector is facing because of the ban on exports to Russia.
The ban, which was imposed in August in response to EU measures against Russia over the situation in Ukraine and Crimea, has had an impact across the agricultural industry.
During the EU Agricultural Council meeting last week, market developments, including the impact of the Russian ban and in particular the impact on the EU market of import ban on EU agricultural product imposed by Russia in August 2014 became the focus for ministers.
In response to the ban, the Commission triggered emergency market support measures for fruit, vegetables and dairy products, while also providing funds for Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) promotion programmes.
While acknowledging the measures, the EU countries expressed concerns they might prove insufficient to alleviate the consequences of the ban on the EU market.
For the sectors concerned ministers called for more to be done by extending the scope of certain measures and diversifying the tools used.
The Bulgarian and the Romanian delegations mentioned the need for further measures in their own dairy sector which was only marginally covered by the emergency market measures on this sector.
Some member states said that while steps had been taken for other agricultural sectors, difficulties were being encountered by the pig meat sector for which no market measures have so far been taken.
The Commission said that EU countries had expressed diverging views with regard to the relevant criteria for the situation in the market to qualify as a crisis situation.
Some of them insisted for example on the need to take into account a decrease of the farmers' profit margin in addition to the price of the product.
Some others highlighted that a crisis situation depends on the sector or the region and that only a case by case qualification can be envisaged.
The Commission pointed out that some emergency market measures have been already extended to mitigate the effect of the Russian ban in the coming months.
For dairy products, it stressed the importance to obtain updated information from the Member States to monitor the market through the Milk Market Observatory and envisage an action if needed.
Concerning pig meat, the Commission indicated its readiness to evaluate the market situation and discuss about further measures if necessary at the next agriculture Council.
Furthermore several Member States supported the Polish delegation which recalled the importance of the EU solidarity in particular when discussing with the Russian authorities to resume the EU export.
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