By FWi staff

PRESSURE is mounting on the European Commission and member states to pay substantially more than the Euro21/head (13) flat rate ewe premium on offer under the revamped sheepmeat regime.

The call has come from the European parliaments agriculture committee, which met in Brussels this week.

A draft report by Labour MEP Gordon Adam suggests that Euro25/head (15.50) would be more appropriate, with Euro8.40/head (5.50) extra in the less favoured areas.

Sheep producers were already the worst paid in European agriculture, he told the meeting, yet the commission was looking to freeze support for the sector.

But Irish MEP Avril Doyle and Scottish MEP Struan Stevenson insisted that sheep producers should be getting over Euro30/head.

The full European parliament is due to vote on the reforms in mid-November, in time for farm ministers to have the final say either at their council on 19 November, or more likely at their following meeting on 17 December.

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