EU under pressure to intervene in farming crisis

EU under pressure to intervene in farming crisis

The European Union (EU) is being put under increased pressure to take action and help prevent a farming crisis across the union.

According to Farmers Weekly, a meeting attended by a number of agricultural ministers concluded that the situation in the agricultural sector has become critical, yet market support measures from the EU have so far been inadequate.

Member states, led by France, have called for the commission to carry out a review of the milk intervention price, identify new export markets and make additional funds available to compensate for Russia’s ban on EU food.

Unions and farming ministers have also said that the EU should reopen aid for private storage of pig meat in hopes it will boost prices by removing volumes from the market.

In February, the UK government came under fire from the National Pig Association after it decided to shut down storage. GB Standard Pig Price (SPP) was 112.9p/kg in the week ending 13 February, whereas a year before the price stood at 135.1p/kg.

The majority of sectors within the farming industry – in particular dairy and pigs – are up against an oversupplied market as a result of increased production, a Chinese import crash and Russia’s ban, which made up around 25% of EU exports of pig meat.

Data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show that English farm business revenue dropped 47% for grazing livestock, 46% for pig producers and 45% for dairy farmers in 2015-2016.

Agricultural minister for the EU, Phil Hogan, recognised the scale of the crisis but explained that ministers would have to take action “within legislative confines.” Yet, he said there is possible scope to devise a European-wide export support mechanism.

With regards to Russia’s ban, a World Trade Organisation (WTO) report leaked to news source Agra Facts Europe purportedly shows that the WTO found Russia in breach of international trade regulations. If this is the case, the country may be forced to reopen its markets.

To find out how the crisis could affect your business or discuss any other aspect of your farming business’s insurance arrangements, talk to a member of the CSW team on 01461 337 751 or