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News 353 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Copa-Cocega calls on opening grain intervention in EU

Europe's farm unions, united in Copa-Cocega have called on the European Commission to open up the intervention stores to this year's cereal crops in all member states because of the grain marketing crisis.

Copa-Cogeca points out that EU cereal prices have reached rock-bottom after two large global harvests which have rebuilt world stocks and pushed barley prices to below intervention levels already with wheat following close behind.
 
At the same time production costs are increasing rapidly, with credit becoming an issue, whilst demand for animal feed has fallen, it says.
 
“We urge the EU Commission to look at the potential crisis on the EU cereals market,” said chairman of the Copa-Cogeca working group on cereals, Paul Temple.
 
“With food security on the agenda and Europe in a recession, it is vital that cereal producers are confident that their production will be profitable.”
 
Low stocks
He warned that global grain stocks were still relatively low so any loss of production this year, combined with a weather event, would cause volatility and a sharp hike in cereal prices.
 
“This could in turn have a disastrous effect on feed prices and the EU livestock sector as well as on food prices for consumers at a time when price stability is vital,” said Temple.
 
“Growing at below the cost of production is not sustainable and impacts on vital investment and environmental care.
 
“We therefore call on the EU Commission to fully recognise the situation and act immediately, particularly on the availability of public intervention.”

Dick Ziggers

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