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Fipronil scandal: Belgian egg farmers to get share of €30m

Egg farmers and distributors in Belgium are to receive a share of €30 million from the European Commission following the autumn’s fipronil scandal.

Egg farmers and distributors in Belgium are to receive a share of €30 million from the European Commission following the autumn’s fipronil scandal.

Federal Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarne said the Commission had agreed to unblock €15m of aid for farmers and a further €15m for distributors.

Applications for funding until the end of April

Both farmers and distributors have until the end of April to apply for funding.

Mr Ducarne said earlier this week: “We can’t write blank cheques for those affected by this crisis. They can submit a request until the end of April. When there has been an agreement in their case the victims will be compensated.”

The Belgian government has been seen to be far more sympathetic to its producers than the neighbouring Dutch administration. Photo: Willem Schouten
The Belgian government has been seen to be far more sympathetic to its producers than the neighbouring Dutch administration. Photo: Willem Schouten

Belgian egg farmers treated better than Dutch neighbours

The Belgian government has been seen to be far more sympathetic to its producers than the neighbouring Dutch administration and Mr Ducarne paid tribute to its Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (Afsca).

“Afsca’s work in Belgium has been excellent. In the Netherlands for example, there are still eggs contaminated by fipronil and no less than 100 farms are still closed,” he said.

After traces of the insecticide, fipronil was found in egg samples – millions of eggs were pulled from shops in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. read all

Costs of the fipronil scandal

He provided figures on the number of birds killed and eggs destroyed because of the scandal. More than 1.9m birds and 77.4m egg were affected.

Latest figures from the European Commission’s egg market analysis has shown how consumption of eggs produced in Holland fell by 7.5% in 2017 from 638,000 tonnes to 590,000 tonnes. It predicts however that sales will bounce back to 2016 levels this year. Belgian consumption is set to remain stable at 143,000 tonnes.

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