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Friday, December 9, 2022

Bread will also receive the AMA seal of approval in the future

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Angelica Harwell
Angelica Harwell
I am an author and journalist who has written for 24 Hours World. I specialize in covering the economy and write about topics such as finance, banking, and economic development.
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The reason is a reform of the marketing contributions that farmers pay to AgrarMarkt Austria (AMA). So far, 80 percent of the AMA has been funded by dairy and meat products. From next year, farmers who grow grain will also pay. The AMA budget will increase from around 19 to 25 million euros, as it was said on Wednesday. Agriculture Minister Norbert Totschnig (ÖVP) negotiated the amendment to the law with the Green coalition partner and the farmers’ interest group, the Chamber of Agriculture, which was under review for a week at the end of October. Today, Wednesday, it was decided in the Council of Ministers and the government bill was sent to Parliament. It is to be decided there in December and come into force on January 1, 2023.

Currently, the AMA is only funded from product-related contributions for milk, slaughtered animals, eggs, vegetables, fruit and wine. In future, in addition to the product-related contributions, there will be a contribution of 5 euros per hectare of agricultural land. This means that there are also contributions for the cultivation of maize, wheat, sugar beets, soybeans or other forms of arable farming. A total of around 20,000 farms that previously did not pay AMA contributions will be included in the system. They will contribute around 3.5 million euros to the total budget of around 25 million euros.

“Revenue neutral” for dairy farmers and cattle breeders

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The reform should be “income-neutral” for dairy farmers and cattle breeders, as stated at a press conference with Totschnig, AMA Marketing Director Michael Blass and Chamber of Agriculture President Josef Moosbrugger. For milk, the contribution drops from 3 to 2.20 euros per ton. For cattle, the contribution drops from 3.70 to 2.70 euros per slaughtered animal.

Pig farmers continue to pay an unchanged EUR 0.75 per pig slaughtered. Because they usually also farm land on which they grow animal feed, for example, they will ultimately pay more in the future. AMA boss Blass justified this, among other things, with the increased need for communication after the known grievances in animal husbandry, such as sick and rotting pigs in farms with the AMA seal of approval.

recommendation of the Court of Auditors

Agriculture Minister Totschnig emphasized that he had coordinated the reform “intensively” with the stakeholders, but of course every change caused discussions. The President of the Chamber of Agriculture, Moosbrugger, also campaigned for the amendment. The AMA seal of quality is the “brand of the farmers” and is important in relation to the advertising of the food chains for their own brands and against “prophecies of doom” against the farmers. “We must not leave communication to others,” said Moosbrugger.

The reorganization of the financing of the AMA was also a requirement of the Court of Auditors (RH). He had recommended making the system broader and thus fairer. In the future, around 100,000 farms will finance the AMA budget of 25 million euros annually. That’s an average of 250 euros a year per farmer. In the past, climate protectors have also often criticized the fact that the AMA mainly advertises milk and meat, although scientists point out that the excessive consumption of animal products is harmful to the climate.

Source: Nachrichten

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