Measures to aid the private storage of pigmeat in order to ease the particularly difficult market situation have been finalised in the Management Committee today, and will enter into force already next week. EU Farm Commissioner Dacian Cioloş announced his intention to open private storage aid at Monday's Council of Agriculture Ministers, and today's decision fixes the relevant details.
Under the programme, operators who store meat at their own expense and their own risk for a period of between 3 and 5 months will be eligible to receive a Community aid to cover storage costs (the rate of aid depends on the type of cuts and the period of storage). At the end of the storage period, the meat is released back onto the EU market. However, meat can also be released for export after 2 months.
The Commission can decide to prolong the storage period if the market situation so requires.
The pigmeat sector has been facing problems since the autumn because of the surge in feed prices, which has severely affected profitability. Even if prices have not been particularly low, the profit margin has dropped to roughly half of its usual level for this time of year.
The situation has now been exacerbated by a sudden drop in prices in some countries following the German dioxin scare – and the Commission is keen to send a clear signal of support to the market.
The Commission will continue to monitor closely the market situation and take appropriate further action if necessary.