Forging a new ambition for the EU livestock sector

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FarmEurope Beef event EPBrussels, 21st March 2017 – Today, Farm Europe organized a discussion on the “Future of the EU livestock sector – The way forward”, at the European Parliament under the patronage of Vice President Mairead McGuinness and Michel Dantin, MEP.

The European beef sector is one of the most important agri-food sectors in Europe. It is characterized by great diversity and it is at the foundation of the economic fabric of many rural areas across the European Union.

Opening the event, VP Mairead McGuinness stressed that, « with several challenges facing the sector, including the expansion of the dairy herd, increased competition in global trade, the impact of Brexit and changing consumer habits, it is important to address these challenges in order to foster a sustainable future for the EU livestock sector, and the EU beef sector in particular ».

MEP Michel Dantin added : « With discussions taking place on the future shape of CAP post-2020, it is time to set a clear and ambitious strategy supporting a European agricultural sector that integrates the specificities and needs of livestock, and in particular the EU beef sector. The first step must be the Omnibus regulation with proposals made to reinforce the farmers’ position within the food supply chain, to share the evolution of value between actors of the supply chain and allow more derogations from competition law ».

Three main concerns clearly arise from the EU beef supply chain: the ability to be a global actor, to cope with new market conditions and to respond at the same time to societal expectations (i.e. climate change and animal welfare).

Farm Europe, in presenting its recommendations and analysis, strongly highlighted that taking into account the challenges faced by the EU suckler herd, it is more than urgent to set up a EU revitalisation plan for the EU beef meat sector in order to:

  1. Encourage market segmentation and build on this strategy to create value for each beef market segment;
  2. Strengthen solidarity within the beef supply chain reinforcing producers’ position in the context of the Omnibus regulation;
  3. Enhance the capacity of the sector to invest and innovate.

The full recommendations and analysis are available here: