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EU Urged to Address Low Beef Farmer Income

27 January 2016

EU - Copa and Cogeca met with senior EU Commission officials this week to underline the low incomes facing EU beef producers and to warn against the possibility of relaunching the free trade talks with the Latin American trade bloc Mercosur and, saying it would have a catastrophic effect on the EU agriculture sector, especially the beef sector.

Other on-going bilateral free trade negotiations and their impact on the beef sector were also raised.

In a meeting with the Cabinet of Commissioner Hogan and of Commissioner Malmström, Jean Pierre Fleury, the Chairman of Copa and Cogeca Working Party on Beef and Veal said: “There are serious problems on the EU beef and veal market and the sector is very fragile. Cattle production is the only source of revenue for specialised beef producers where no other type of activity exists. EU farm incomes are on average half the average level and beef producers have particularly low incomes with around €14,000 annual income."

"We therefore need a tool that can closely monitor the current situation and new trends, which should take the form of a beef meat market observatory, with regular meetings. We also need a dynamic export strategy and solutions for export, especially when some of our key trade partners keep their barriers in place, by involving the European Investment Bank. There is little progress also when it comes to the full opening of non-EU markets to quality EU beef exports.”

Mr Fleury went on to underline the concerns of EU beef and veal producers vis a vis the ongoing bilateral free trade talks which could threaten the most profitable part of the EU beef market. This is the only source of revenue for beef producers. “The Commission must act quickly”, he said.

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