EU ‘exceptional measures’ to help European farmers welcomed by Conservatives


Richard Ashworth, MEP for South East England, has welcomed proposals from the European Commission to help support farmers through the current agricultural crisis including a new monitoring service for livestock and financial instruments for future investments.

Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan announced a series of proposals designed to reassure farmers and restore confidence in agricultural markets this week using instruments within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It follows the September €500million solidarity package, of which the UK was one of the largest recipients, to help farmers facing this crisis.

Notable measures within the package include: the establishment of a Meat Market Observatory, greater engagement with the European Investment Bank to develop financial instruments to help farmers invest for the future, temporary acceptance of national state aid, and renewed efforts to lift the Russian ban on pigmeat.

Mr Ashworth commented: “This package demonstrates that EU policy makers recognise the significant difficulties currently facing British farmers and the wider agricultural community.”

“Conservatives have been calling for the establishment of a Meat Market Observatory, similar to that of the Milk Market Observatory, for some time. This will help beef and pig farmers to access valuable market data as well as improve market transparency. In such volatile market conditions, it is vital that our farmers have the best information available to them for the sustainability of the livestock sector.”

“These measures should feed into a comprehensive mid-term review of the CAP, which should have simplification and market orientation at its core. I believe the package will have a positive short-term impact on European agricultural markets, but more needs to be done to ensure the industry becomes resilient in the face of volatility and future market conditions.”