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Coughlan pushes for strong export refunds regime for pigmeat

Speaking at the Council of Ministers Meeting in Brussels this week, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., said that in view of the on-going difficulties in the pigmeat sector it is imperative that a strong export refund regime remains in place. The weak dollar is hampering third country sales and a solid refund system will send the necessary signal to the industry to enable them to market pigmeat successfully and thereby help to sustain improved producer prices.

"I continue to be concerned about the situation in the pigmeat sector. The market support measures introduced by the Commission last year helped to stabilise the market and many Member States have seen an improvement in prices over recent weeks. Producers, however, continue to experience major difficulties due to the high cost of feed."

Minister Coughlan's position was echoed by a large number of Member States who share her concern that everything possible must be done to support this very important sector.

Date Released: 20 March 2008