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COPA-COGECA Warns of EU Meat Market Share Loss

by 5m Editor
18 January 2011, at 10:54am

EU - The European farming federation, Copa-Cogeca, has warned that a new EU Commission report on medium-term prospects for agricultural markets shows a sharp decline in EU market shares in the meat sector, partly as a result of costly EU regulations.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said: “The Commission’s latest report on medium-term prospects for agricultural markets reveals that the EU will lose market shares and competitiveness by 2020, due to a strengthening of the euro and costly EU regulations.

"Meat exports will decline even further by almost 23 per cent by 2020.

"Whilst imports, which do not have to meet the same high standards as those in the EU, are predicted to increase by as much as 14 per cent.

"In particular, meat imports will rise from the Latin American Trade bloc Mercosur which uses growth promoters in its production which are not used in the EU and has poor animal traceability.

"The report also warns that EU output will remain under its full potential in all sectors as farmers will continue to be squeezed by high production costs which will limit the profitability of production. This is totally unacceptable.”

He added: "The EU agriculture sector plays a vital role in providing jobs in rural areas, with an estimated one in six jobs dependent upon agricultural production in the EU.

"But production is falling sharply in many sectors, especially the meat sector, and employment has declined by as much as 25 per cent between 2000 and 2009.

"Greater weight must be put under the CAP to strengthening the economic production role of EU farmers, in a way that maintains employment and the economic viability of rural areas. Costs cannot be raised further or EU farmers will lose more and more market shares," Mr Pesonen said.

"Moreover, outsourcing our production abroad would go against the objective of 'sustainable growth' and the EU commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as cause deforestation and environmental damage in non-EU countries. A competitive agri-food sector is crucial in the future to ensure food security and to meet the projected doubling in world food demand. The EU agriculture budget and direct payments to farmers must consequently at least be maintained."

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