The European Commission has ordered EU-funded emergency storage for up to 30,000 tonnes of healthy Irish pigmeat, following a collapse in demand caused by the country's dioxin contamination crisis.

Brussels will pay for the meat to be stored for up to six months - long enough, it hopes, for Irish pigmeat prices and demand to recover. 

"This is a piece of practical action to help support the Irish pork sector at this difficult time," said EU agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel, who welcomed yesterday's (11 December) authorisation of the plan by an EU member state committee.