The first elements of the special aid package for EU farmers worth €500m, announced by the European Commission in early September, were adopted by the European Commission late last week.

Draft rules for most of the other measures have also been presented to Member State experts and will formally be approved in the coming days and weeks.

The largest part of the package is a targeted aid scheme worth €420 million, which is allocated to Member States in the form of national envelopes for distribution mainly to dairy and pigmeat farmers, targeting those sectors that have been most adversely affected by the market situation.

To aid cash-flow difficulties, the Commission has also published last week a new Implementing Regulation which provides more flexibility to Member States to pay out earlier a greater share than usual of the CAP Direct Payments and area related payments from Rural Development.

In addition to this, the Commission has finalised texts related to reinforced Private Storage Aid schemes for certain dairy products to address the market imbalance and increased funding for promotion especially on non-EU markets.

Furthermore, the Commission says it continues to monitor closely the pigmeat market and is ready to activate an enhanced Private Storage Aid scheme for pigmeat.

Commissioner Phil Hogan said as part of this package is aimed at addressing the more short-term cash-flow problems that many farmers face, he is delighted that we have been able to move so quickly.

“It is now up to national administrations to ensure that objective criteria are defined and the funds are able to reach farmers without delay,” he said.