European Commissioner Phil Hogan gave pig producers and dairy farmers hope that the prices for milk and pork will increase, in an address to ENAJ members during the Annual Ag-Press Network Meeting in Brussels on 26-27 January.
Nowadays dairy farmers and pig producers suffer from very low prices, lower than their cost price. Hogan expects that the private storage of 90,000 tons of pork will help to increase the prices. They all ready do a little: 3.5 % more in the first weeks of the year. For milk his expectations were an increase in the second half of 2016. At the same time he has expectations about tapping markets for pork and milk products. The commissioner will visit several countries like Columbia and China to negotiate about trade opportunities. He has little expectations that the Russian ban will disappear soon.
To overcome the bad income situation the European Commission has made available in September €500 million, mainly for solving the cash flow problems of farmers. It is up to the countries how they operate with this money.
Task force for the food chain
A key issue is to fortify the position of the farmers in the food chain. Hogan appointed the former Dutch minister of agriculture Cees Veerman as chairman of a special task force for agricultural markets, who will write within one year a report about this issue. Veerman will give recommendations how to fortify the position of the farmers for instance by better granting of credits and by founding of new cooperatives. In the last years their position in the chain slipped away. All the other chain partners earned more, the farmers less.
Yellow card in 2016
Farmers complain about the enormous administration they have to do. Hogan introduces In 2016 the commissioner and the ministers of agriculture will look at the effects of one year of greening. What are the effects on the production and on the level playing field?
More on the website
Read more about the Ag Press Network Meeting on www.Ag-press.eu. Besides the speech of Commissioner Hogan there is an interesting outlook for the agricultural markets by Tassos Haniotis, director economic analysis of DG Agri and overview about the Rural Development programs by Christiane Kirketerp de Viron of DG Agri. Europe invests €161 billion in rural development between 2014 and 2020.