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COPA-COGECA WELCOMES 280 MILLION EUROS FOR EU DAIRY SECTOR BUT WANTS MORE ACTION TO HELP SOLVE CRISES IN ALL EU FARM SECTORS

Date

20 Oct 2009

Sections

Agriculture & Food
Health & Consumers

Copa-Cogeca, European farmers and European agri-cooperatives, welcomed in Luxembourg today EU Farm Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boels' support to
give 280 million euros to help EU dairy producers survive the crisis, but warned that more action is required to help improve the drastic situation prevailing across all EU
farm sectors.

The move comes after EU Farm Ministers debated a series of measures called for by 21 Ministers to help alleviate pressure on the EU dairy market.

Speaking after the meeting, Copa President Padraig Walshe said "The EU dairy crisis is deep and unprecedented. That is why we give our full support to immediate
measures outlined in the common initiative of 21 EU Farm Ministers. In particular, we welcome Ms Fischer Boels' support for the 280 million euros designed to help
producers get through this difficult period. But the EU Commissions' action does not go far enough. Many producers across all farm sectors, notably the pigmeat,cereals,
olive oil, sugar beet, beef sectors, are also facing major difficulties. Never before have we had a situation where every single farm sector is under pressure. Further
market measures must be introduced to help them survive and to prevent a further exodus from the rural areas of the EU. Europe cannot continue with farmers on the verge of bankruptsy".

Copa-Cogeca nevertheless welcomed Ministers decision to extend the intervention period for skimmed milk powder and butter to 2010 and possibly to 2011. It also supports the move to bring the EU dairy sector under Article 186 of the Single Common Market Organisation which will allow the Commission to take temporary action quickly. But Copa-Cogeca has serious doubts about whether a voluntary
buying-up scheme of quota to restructure the sector could help the whole of the EU dairy sector or give producers more stability and predictability. EU-wide action is
needed to combat an EU-wide problem.

In addition, Copa-Cogeca welcomes the Commission's decision to launch a debate on the future of the EU dairy sector and is fully committed to providing its expertise in
this respect. Copa Vice-President Gert Sonnleitner said "We have already started to work on future EU-wide policy alternatives that must ensure that farmers receive a
fair income and that cooperatives' and producers' organisation position in the food chain is strengthened to help balance out retailers monoply powers".

For further information, please contact:
Pekka Pesonen
Secretary General
Tel.: +32 2 287 27 27]
Pekka.Pesonen@copa-cogeca.eu
Amanda Cheesley
Press Officer
Mobile: + 32 474 840 836
amanda.cheesley@copa-cogeca.eu

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