EU ready to aid pork farmers after prices tumble

22nd January 2011, Comments 0 comments

EU Agriculture Commissioner Bacian Ciolos said Saturday that Brussels was ready to step in to aid pork farmers hit by a slump in prices sparked by a German contamination scare.

"If in the next few days the pork market continues in the same direction, we must be ready to take the measures available to us to avoid a fall in prices," he said at Berlin agriculture fair.

The discovery of high levels of toxic dioxin in pork from German farms has hit prices, while farmers are also suffering from a rise in the costs of cereals for pig feed.

"The German government's measures have helped to restore confidence to the market," said Ciolos adding that Brussels would act if these proved inadequate.

European agriculture ministers will meet Monday in Brussels to discuss the problem, with French minister Bruno Le Maire, also in Berlin, demanding immediate action.

French pig farmers were in an untenable situation, he said, calling for high-level discussions on the future of the industry, a move supported by Ciolos.

© 2011 AFP

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