ZAGREB, Sept 15, 2020 – The coronavirus crisis caused the beef industry facing collapse, the Baby Beef association said on Tuesday, adding that Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic has promised HRK 60 million in support for that industry.
The association said that the industry was facing collapse and that is why they called for an urgent meeting with Minister Vuckovic.
The meeting was held last week and Minister Vuckovic announced subsidies similar to those in other countries, notably Slovenia and France, in order to bail out the cattle breeding industry.
It was agreed that HRK 60 million would be paid to the industry in two installments, with the first installment at the end of this year and the second installment by the end of February 2021.
That would cover part of our losses and would resolve the issue of current and future surpluses, the association said.
The association warned that the corona crisis has meant huge problems for cattle breeders who produce about 120,000 yearling beef each year and generate about HRK 1.3 billion in revenue.
The association said that currently, producers have a surplus of about 30,000 yearlings, and by the end of the year that could increase to about 70,000.
That is the result of excessive imports of beef from EU countries that subsidize their cattle breeding industry, and this has threatened our market, the association said.
The association said that as soon as the crisis broke out, Slovenia and France subsidized their products with €100 per head.
Croatian farmers cannot compete with those prices, the association added.
The Baby Beef association brings together about 330 cattle breeders who account for 90% of the beef sector in the country and raise about 120,000 yearlings a year.
About two-thirds of cattle are sold live to the Middle East or as meat to Italy while one-third is sold on the domestic market.