More than 50% of poultry businesses are threatened with lockout due to the ongoing delay in solving the huge licensing problem, according to the National Poultry Interprofessional Organization, which is making an urgent appeal for the issue to be resolved immediately.
The EDOP points out that, thanks to the constructive attitude of the Deputy Minister of Rural Development & Food Simos Kedikoglou and the Deputy Minister of Spatial Planning & Urban Environment Nikos Tagaras, the passing of the relevant amendment is sufficient to finally provide a solution to the issue plaguing Greek poultry farming, the relevant process is unnecessarily delayed, as a result of which the poultry farmers have fallen into despair.
“If the imposed change of the existing regime is postponed until after the upcoming elections (with an uncertain timetable), the damage to the development path of the sector will be catastrophic, as the majority of poultry companies have submitted plans for modernization and improvement”, emphasizes EDOP, as these plans, without the passing of the specific amendment, cannot receive environmental conditions approval (AEPO), which is a condition for the implementation of any plan. Consequently, the delay of the relevant debate in the Parliament will lead to the loss of the deadlines for the implementation of the investments, while at the same time the operating licenses of the poultry farms are not renewed, resulting in the immediate closure of approximately 56% of them.
The industry notes that it has brought the issue to the prime minister’s attention in time and that he understands that there are emergency situations and urgent priorities in the government and legislative work, however, the licensing problem has now acquired the dimension of extreme urgency, undermining the operation and development of many otherwise healthy businesses that cover a huge percentage of our country’s food needs, directly and indirectly employing tens of thousands of workers and contributing to the Greek economy more than 1.2 billion per year.
“We are, therefore, obliged to point out that, if the licensing issues are not resolved immediately, 56% of the poultry sector will be out of the market”, notes EDOP and points out that the sector was not subsidized during the pandemic period and a large proportion of businesses were excluded from feed subsidies, which creates the impression “that we are not on the government’s priority agenda – which we obviously refuse to believe”. Finally, he notes that the non-inclusion of the creation of new poultry houses in the development law is only a brake on the development and evolution of a healthy, competitive primary production.
“Therefore, we are making an urgent appeal once again, given the date of the elections, so that the required parliamentary procedures are immediately initiated and completed, and to avoid, even at the last minute, a catastrophic scenario for the industry – a a scenario that ultimately will include locks on poultry farms”, concludes EDOP.