EU - In order to help agriculture and fishing businesses affected by Russia's import ban, the European Commission (EC) is now monitoring carefully the market prices for affected products in each member state each week, writes Lucy Towers, 5m Editor.
Although it is too early to assess the full economic affects of the ban on the EU, the EC is remaining positive that the EU can bounce back and find new markets to sell to in the medium term.
However, it is clear that some producers will face serious difficulties in the short term, most notably the fruit, vegetable and dairy sectors.
Overall the Russian ban affects €5.1 billion worth of EU exports. The most affected areas of which are €1,233 million worth of meat exports (pork and beef) from Denmark, Poland, Lithuania and Germany, and €1,349 worth of dairy products from Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany and Lithuania.
In response to the ban, the EC created a Task Force to analyse the situation, considering the economic impacts. Following initial findings, the EC now monitors market prices for every product in every member state every week.
The EC has also provided over €155 million to address market oversupply problems for the fruit, vegetable and dairy sectors as the produce is perishable.
In order to help develop new markets, an additional €30 million will be made available in 2015. This will go towards EU promotion programmes in third country markets.
Organisations that want to participate in these projects need to submit projects to their respective member state by the end of September 2014.
Private Storage Aid
Taking immediate action to help the dairy sector, the EC has opened a Private Storage Aid for butter, Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) and some cheeses to help fund the costs of storing these items for three to seven months.
The EC has also confirmed that the period for public intervention of butter and SMP will be extended until the end of the year.
Fisheries and Aquaculture
The European Commission now seems to be making progress on helping the fisheries industry after many fishery groups/organisations wrote a letter to EU Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki.
The EC noted that it is monitoring the situation closely and that Ms Damanaki is working with the Italian Presidency and affected member states in order to take into account all facts for a thorough analysis of the impacts.
The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), under the Common Fisheries Policy, will also provide financial assistance to cover the costs of storing fish that cannot be marketed until new markets have been found.