By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

"EU must continue to support Livestock Farming" - Coveney

-Strong CAP needed to support family farms and increase competitiveness -

Speaking ahead of a meeting of the Council of EU Agriculture Ministers in Hungary, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, said that he will be stressing the crucial importance of keeping a strong livestock farming sector in Europe. He said that the sector was of enormous importance economically, socially and environmentally and contributes significantly to security of food supply in the EU.

The Minister said that "policies must be developed to ensure that the whole food chain, from producer to retailer to consumer, becomes more sustainable. The relationship between all sectors is becoming very dynamic and can become unbalanced very quickly, resulting in damaging consequences for producers."

The Minister also said that Europe would continue "to need a Common Agriculture Policy as a strong policy directed to supporting family farms and focused on increasing competitiveness.  The continuation of decoupled payments, together with effective market supports, is the best prospect for the support and stabilisation of farm incomes."

Referring to the possibility of a trade deal between the EU and the Mercosur group of South American countries, Minister Coveney cautioned against "rushing into trade deals, such as with Mercosur, that could have a negative impact on the EU and Irish livestock sectors.  We know, from the preliminary impact analysis of a deal, that the consequences for agriculture are very significant with negative results across the board for the EU, particularly in the beef and dairy sectors."

The Minister also expressed concern about the effects of high feed prices, particularly on the pig-meat sector on which, he said, they were creating "a very real problem. The reality is that the cost/price squeeze means that many pig producers are not even breaking even on their operations and are in danger of going out of business. It is clear that we need to retain market management instruments, such as aid to private storage."

Minister Coveney said that he will be taking the opportunity of next week's meeting to meet several of his colleagues on a bilateral basis to discuss issues of mutual concern, particularly in relation to the future of the CAP after 2013 and the dairy quota situation prior to the elimination of quotas in 2015. 

Date Released: 29 May 2011