The European Commission has opened private storage aid for pigmeat to stabilise the EU market.
It is aimed at easing pressure on the market, which is still struggling from the Russian ban on imports from February 2014.
Pig producers in Ireland and across the EU saw a large decrease in prices last year, mainly due to the impact of the ongoing Russian embargo.
The Commission measure, which came into force this week, provides EU funding to help cover the costs of storing certain pigmeat products for periods of three to five months.
EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan announced the move last September as part of a €500m support package for farmers.
This measure will also include lard — not previously covered by private storage aid — because of the large volumes previously exported to Russia.
EU member states will notify the Commission twice a week of the quantities of pigmeat they have submitted into storage.
Commissioner Hogan said this week he is aware that the pigmeat sector is facing difficulties. Prices have been in decline since September.
He hoped the aid to private storage measure will help the market.
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