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Protecting EU farmers and citizens in a poultry market distorted by imports

Question écrite de Mme Isabella ADINOLFI - Commission européenne

Question de Mme Isabella ADINOLFI,

Diffusée le 17 octobre 2023

Subject: Protecting EU farmers and citizens in a poultry market distorted by imports

Italian and European farmers are in a critical situation, with the EU poultry sector reeling because meat and eggs are being imported en masse from third countries like Ukraine whose animal welfare and food safety standards pale in comparison to the EU’s.

EU poultry farmers are in dire straits because, owing to their strict adherence to EU animal safety and welfare regulations, they incur significantly higher productions costs than their third-country counterparts, whose goods are consequently much cheaper.

Given the importance of protecting one of the EU’s most important economic sectors, could the Commission answer the following:

1. What will it do to protect EU poultry farmers from these unfair competitive practices, and how can we ensure that third-country imports do not compromise animal welfare standards in the EU market?

2. Does the Commission not believe that, for consumers to make informed decisions, it is necessary to institute a new, clearer and more informative labelling system which, in addition to the country of origin, also includes information on animal welfare standards?

3. How does the Commission intend to counterbalance this market trend with a view to protecting EU poultry farmers while guaranteeing food safety, sustainable practices and standards that respect animal welfare?

Submitted: 18.10.2023

Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 4 décembre 2023

Answer given by Mr Wojciechowski on behalf of the European Commission (5 December 2023)

EU imports of poultry meat and eggs have indeed increased recently, in particular from Ukraine with whom quantitative limits and tariffs have been lifted through autonomous trade measures following Russia's military aggression against Ukraine.

To protect the EU market from the impact of increasing imports, Regulation (EU) No2023/1077 (1) includes an expedited procedure for safeguard investigations with regular monitoring and reporting to Member States. The monitoring has not demonstrated any direct impact on the EU market so far.

In the framework of the Farm to Fork Strategy (2), the Commission is considering options for animal welfare labelling to better transmit value through the food chain.

The preparatory work done so far indicates that the impact of a possible EU animal welfare labelling scheme on imported products would largely depend on its mandatory nature.

Regarding animal welfare in Ukraine, the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) in force committed Ukraine to approximate to the EU acquis on animal welfare.

Parties agreed to a roadmap of actions, and Ukraine issued a ministerial order for progressive alignment to EU legislation on animal welfare.

Even though the approximation to EU acquis is a work in progress, all imported consignment shall comply at all time with the EU food safety requirements in force.

1 ∙ ⸱ Regulation (EU) 2023/1077 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 May 2023 on temporary trade-liberalisation measures supplementing trade

concessions applicable to Ukrainian products under the Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, of the one part, and Ukraine, of the other part (OJ L 144, 5.6.2023, p. 1). 2 ∙ ⸱ COM/2020/381 final.

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