DEFRA statement on Russian import ban

by Tim Mudge

The following statement has been released by DEFRA on the 14th August 2014

"The Commission held a meeting of EU agriculture experts in Brussels today to discuss the economic impact of the Russian trade ban. The Commission presented its early analysis and invited views of Member States on specific problems affecting their industries. The meeting focused on the fruit and vegetables and dairy sectors as areas of most immediate concern, but also covered other livestock products. The UK reported on our fisheries, dairy, and poultry sectors and noted that pigmeat exports had already been banned by Russia for several months. A number of Member States were facing immediate and in many cases much bigger problems following the loss of Russian export markets. Most delegates were worried about the potential indirect impacts of surplus production on EU market prices. 

The Commission was mainly in listening mode, emphasising the need for calm and a certain amount of resilience. It would be important to look at the analysis and it was still too soon in many cases to know how markets would react. The Commission was urgently looking at the case for targeted support measures in some sectors and a further Mancom meeting would be held next week. There would be an extraordinary Agriculture Council in early September to seek Ministers’ views."

Jack Ward, British Growers Chief Executive added "We are continuing to monitor the situation closely. It is helpful to see that the EU recognises the need to do what it can to safeguard growers in the EU that might be adversely affected."