The European Union has confirmed it will prolong the measures for all farmers struck by the Russian trade boycott for another year. The support program will now continue until June 2016, at least.
Drop in export
The support measures were launched to soften the blow from the Russian boycott, which started in August 2014. The boycott is on products from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway, after these had opposed the annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean Peninsula and issued sanctions.
Price control is the biggest measure taken to help local farmers: as export plummets, there is a surplus of supplies, which in turn causes the prices to drop. Farmers who produce less so that prices can be maintained, will get the financial backing of the European Union.
Nevertheless, a large number of farmers have found a way to circumvent the boycott and get their products into Russia anyway: they export to countries that still have trade relations with Russia. In those countries, these products are given new labels and make their way into Russia.
More good news for Belgian farmers
There is more good news for Belgian farmers because trade federation Comeos and the Belgian Competition Authority will launch a proposal to limit the impact of volatile prices in the short and long run.
In the short run, the dairy and pig industries will get temporary price support and in the long run, all parts of the chain will need to participate in a stabilising mechanism. The proposal should be finalized by the end of August and it should help halt any further Belgian farmers' protest.