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ICOS is highlighting the upcoming EU Special Agricultural Committee, taking place next Monday, 6th April, as a pivotal moment for the activation of market management tools to assist the agri-food sector in managing the fallout of the COVID-19 lockdown.

At the meeting, EU Member State representatives will discuss the impact of the crisis together with the Commission and can recommend specific actions to be taken.

ICOS is in contact with the Department representative in the committee and is urging for the rallying of support in favour of the activation of Private Storage Aid Schemes for butter, skimmed milk powder and all cheeses.

To support the beef sector, ICOS is calling for public intervention to be opened. However, given that current intervention price, at €2,224/tonne, is far below the cost of production, we are also asking for this price to be significantly raised, to provide the necessary assistance for the sector.

Additionally, due to the particularly difficult situation for high value beef cuts, we support a review of tariff rate quotas on imports in this area. While we recognise the need to maintain our international trade flows, the major changes in EU consumption must be reflected in our tariff rate quota management.