Grain Growers' Call for Assistance Brushed off in Brussels


Photo by Nikolett Emmert /

Brussels will not offer support for Hungarian, Romanian, Polish, or Bulgarian grain growers challenged by the flow of cheaper Ukrainian grain into European markets, state secretary for agriculture Zsolt Feldman told news agency MTI in Brussels on Monday, after a meeting of European Union farm ministers.

Feldman said six member states in Eastern Europe had asked the European Commission to take measures shielding their farmers from "millions of tonnes" of grain from Ukraine priced around EUR 70 per tonne under locally produced grain.

Hungary supported freeing up the grain stuck in Ukraine, but a "significant" portion of that grain is going to European markets rather than to North Africa or the Middle East, he added.

Feldman said a number of member states at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting had pressed the EC to require honey labels to indicate the country of origin. Cheap honey from non-EU countries is squeezing high-quality Hungarian honey out of markets, he added.

He said Hungary, along with 15 other member states, wrote a joint letter to the EC and Sweden, which holds the revolving Presidency of the Council of the EU, pointing out the importance of including member states' agriculture ministers in the discussion of environmental matters affecting farmers. He noted that the EC is proposing the rollout of an environmental licensing system for mid-sized farms of the kind that only works for large-scale agricultural operations.


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