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EU Egg Industry at Risk from Imports

19 March 2012, at 8:15am

EU - Farmers’ association, Copa-Cogeca, has warned of the risk that EU imports of eggs from non-EU countries that do not have to meet the EU’s high welfare standards or ban conventional battery cages for laying hens will rise substantially.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General, Pekka Pesonen, said: “It is ludricous that the EU has imposed a ban on its own producers, which has cost them over €5 billion, and not imports. Prices have risen as a result of this ban and producers have had to de-populate in the short term to give time to adjust to the new standards and costs or cease their production. And now the industry is looking to boost imports, which do not have to meet the same standards, in order to fill the gap.

If the EU Commission imposes such costly legislation on our sector and if these standards are so important to our citizens, then MEPs, EU Ministers and the Commission should protect the industry. The same standards which are applied in the EU must apply to imports.

Mr Schaeffer, Chairman of Copa-Cogeca Working Party on Eggs and Poultry, continued: “Other major challenges are also facing the sector. Although EU poultry producers are generally quite competitive and the sector is largely unsupported, they have been suffering recently from high input costs, notably feed costs, which make up 60 per cent of poultry producers expenses.

"In view of the difficult situation, industry is asking for exceptional measures to help support the market. Copa-Cogeca consequently urges the EU to allow time for the market to re-adjust and also to ensure that the same standards which apply in the EU also apply to imports."