Copa-Cogeca have warned of the serious situation facing the EU beef sector, with EU producers being hit hard by high production costs and low margins.
Action must be taken under the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Global meat consumption is forecast to rise and Europe needs to be in a position to make use of the growing opportunities. The move came after the issue was discussed in Copa-Cogecas’ Beefmeat Working Party.
Speaking in Brussels, newly re-elected Chairman of the Working Party Pierre Chevalier stressed “EU beef producers are being squeezed by high production costs, and low margins. Many slaughterhouses in Member States are being forced to shut down," said Chairman of the Working Part, Pierre Chevalier, to an audience in Brussels.
Mr Chevalier also warned about the possibility of the beef sector shrinking: "EU production is expected to decline by 4.8 per cent in 2012, compared to 2011, and the suckler cow herd by 3 per cent. Whilst new estimates from the FAO-OECD show global meat consumption is expected to increase sharply, especially in the emerging economies like China. EU beef producers need to be in a position to make use of these increasing opportunities”.
Outlining ways to improve the situation, Mr Chevalier said: “We need a plan to re-launch EU beef production. Support under the future CAP needs to become more targeted and production needs to be encouraged via the suckler cow premium. Measures to manage the market, such as intervention, also need to be improved.
"The EU intervention price needs to be updated to take account of the higher input prices. Farmers also need the flexibility to be able to produce feed on farms to ensure feed autonome," he concluded.
TheCattleSite News Desk