EU farmers lost €5.5 Billion from Russian food import ban – Unions

The trade embargo from Russia has cost European farmers an estimated 5.5 billion euros in lost revenue, a senior trade union official complained on Friday, reports. The trade embargo from Russia – which farmers and cooperatives are the victims of — has cut approximately half, 5.5 billion euros of our agri-food exports,” Albert Jan Maat, the president of the Brussels-based European farmers union Copa Cogeca, an umbrella group that includes around 60 agricultural organizations from all EU member states, said in a statement.Maat welcomed as “a step forward” the EU Commission move to introduce new measures to support EU fruit and vegetable growers and dairy producers, but added that it was “nowhere near enough to compensate producers for their huge losses.” Speaking on behalf of the Copa Cogeca union, representing 28 million EU farmers, Albert Jan Maat urged the EU to intensify negotiations with Russia to have the restrictions imposed on EU pig meat exports in early 2014 lifted.In June Russia extended for another year its ban on food imports from the European Union, the United States, Canada and Norway. The list of products, first prohibited from being imported to Russia in August 2014, includes meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy products, fruit and vegetables.