On 17 December 2020, Romanian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Daniel Buda of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) posed a written parliamentary question to the European Commission:
“According to the National Institute of Statistics, in the first nine months of last year Romania’s food trade deficit was EUR 1 billion, in the context of imports worth EUR 6 billion. Basically, the staple foods in Romania – meat, fruit, milk and vegetables – generate the largest imports. In this context, the pork deficit in Romania was worth EUR 648.1 million.
Representatives of the Association of Cattle, Sheep and Pig Farmers and Exporters (ACEBOP) point out that this data reveals the major risk our country faces with regard to food security. In the pig sector, we currently produce less than 30% of consumption needs, with pork remaining the favourite meat of Romanian consumers, who eat approximately 42 kg of pork per person per year, according to statistics for 2019 published by the National Institute of Statistics. However, the pig sector has been severely affected by African swine fever, the COVID-19 pandemic and a sharp drop in the price of pork.
What measures can the Commission take to support the pig sector, and also to manage the food trade deficit in its Member States?”
On 1 February 2021, Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski responded on behalf of the European Commission stating: “The EU’s internal market is characterised by free movement of goods. The Commission does not intervene to manage the food trade balance in individual Member States.
The pig sector in the whole EU is currently facing very low prices triggered in particular by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing outbreaks of African Swine Fever. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has already adopted an extensive range of measures to support the agricultural sector. Pig producers in the European Union including Romania can benefit, for instance, from the temporary framework for State Aid, the ‘Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus’, and the extension of the flexibilities introduced under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.”
Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/photos/pig-farms-journey-2671631/