Poland - Agricultural Situation 2008

POLAND - This report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is subtitled, EU Cross-Compliance - What it Means for Poland, 2009 and Beyond. Particular difficulties are expected over animal welfare and the already struggling pig industry.
calendar icon 30 December 2008
clock icon 3 minute read


Enforcement of the good agricultural and environmental conditions of the EU's cross compliance regulations comes into effect in Poland on 1 January 2009. Polish farmers seem prepared to meet these requirements.

However, Poland is still far from meeting the second tier requirements, the statutory management requirements, set to be enforced on 1 January 2011. The Polish government has requested a postponement or phase-in of the statutory management requirements, as there will need to be greater progress and changes in Poland to meet them.

Many people in Poland are worried that cross-compliance will raise cost of production for Polish farmers with a highly regulatory form of farm management and hurt Poland's competitiveness in the EU and to third countries.

Difficulties in Meeting Statutory Management Requirements

"Poland has requested an extension on meeting animal welfare requirements until 1 January 2013."

Greater concern has risen as Poland and other new Member States now focus on meeting the statutory management requirements (SMR) of the cross-compliance regulations. Poland is required to meet the SMRs of public health, plant and animal health and reporting on animal diseases and animal welfare by 1 January 2011. However, Poland has requested an extension on meeting animal welfare requirements until 1 January 2013.

Institutional problems and high administrative costs of SMR implementation are the main reasons Poland has requested postponing or phasing-in the obligation to implement all the cross-compliance requirements. Additionally, implementation necessitates time. The Polish agricultural sector has gone through a number of changes in the past two decades and the process of adjusting to previous requirements was demanding and, in some cases, not fully completed yet.

Pig Farmers May Lose Competitiveness Further

The new regulations will require from some farmers costly investments or organizational or production changes. Because of these changes, cross-compliance may force more specialization in Poland as farmers with mixed production may choose only one commodity to invest in as a way to decrease the cost of investment. Also, because of the higher cost of production, without more specialization, Polish farmers may lose competitiveness in the EU and to third countries.

For sectors of Polish agriculture already undergoing hard adjustments, such as the hog sector, cross-compliance may only further decrease competitiveness and increase imports in the future as countries such as Germany and Denmark could be able to gain more market share.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

Other Reports in this Series

To view our complete list of 2008 Livestock and Products Annual Reports from USDA FAS GAIN covering pigs, please click here.
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