Archive Article: 1999/12/10

10 December 1999

&#8226 UP TO 800 Breton pig and poultry producers demonstrated in Paris at the start of the week about the income crisis affecting their sectors, setting fire to bins and dumping tonnes of feathers outside the Intervention Boards offices. On the same day, French farm minister, Jean Glavany, was in Rennes, Brittany, promising financial aid within days. "I take the problems of Brittany seriously and the state will act on its responsibilities," he said.

&#8226 BEEF and sheep producers in Ireland will soon be getting aid top-ups worth Ir£27m, as compensation for financial loss following the changeover to the euro. Suckler cows will get an extra £7.09, while eligible ewes will receive 83p each, (plus 28p in less favoured areas). Beef special premium, extensification premium and area aid top-ups will go out next year.

&#8226 BRUSSELS has under-spent its farm budget to the tune of k1bn (£630m) in 1999, according to the commissions latest financial report. Despite overspending on sugar export refunds and sheep annual premium, massive savings were made on beef as intervention stocks diminished. Total agricultural expenditure came to k39.4bn (£24.8bn).

&#8226 FRENCH co-operatives, La Cana and Caval have merged to form the second largest co-op in the country, producing a wide range of livestock and arable products. Combined turnover is put at more than FFr15bn (£1.5bn), with about 24,000 farmer members. Meanwhile, shareholders of Danish dairy giant, MD Foods and Swedish group Arla have approved a merger to create Europes largest dairy group.

&#8226 ABOUT 30 Greenpeace activists blocked the gates of a Cargill feed mill in the port of Brest in north-west France last week, in protest at the import of genetically modified material from the US.

Much of the soya finding its way into EU animal feed is GM, said Greenpeace spokesman Arnaud Apoteker, but without proper labelling farmers were unable to avoid it.

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