European farming groups have united to urge the European Union to minimise the impact of uncertainties on trade and Brexit, and to call for more coherent European policies.
Speaking in Brussels after a meeting with 66 presidents of farmers and cooperative organisations across the EU, president of European farm union Copa, Joachim Rukwied, warned, “We are disappointed with the EU Commission proposal on the future CAP. It is unacceptable that more and more is being asked of farmers in terms of respecting tough food safety, welfare and environmental requirements for less and less money. Another major concern is the fact that the technology toolbox that farmers rely on to maintain their competitiveness is being eroded every day. We are very proud of our production standards. More coherence between policies is vital to ensure that they are maintained.
“We cannot accept that our standards in the trade talks with the Latin American trade bloc Mercosur are weakened or that our farmers are penalised for respecting them by being subject to unfair competition. Trade concessions must be minimized for our more sensitive sectors.”
Cogeca president Thomas Magnusson added, “It is in our common interest to develop good, balanced trading relations between the farming community in the EU and other parts of the world. The potential misuse of free trade agreements by our trading partners could seriously undermine the credibility of these agreements.”
Photo Credit: Copa Cogeca
The post EU farm groups call for end to uncertainties appeared first on Hort News on 21 June 2018.
The agricultural barometer survey by Copa & Cogeca reveals that a perfect storm of factors including a collapse in prices, soaring input costs and the Russian export ban means that confidence in Europe’s farmers reached an all-time low in the first quarter of 2016.
The survey is carried out twice a year in 11 countries and over 8,000 farmers were interviewed. In 9 of the 11 Member States, including the UK, farmers’ confidence about the current and future situation had fallen. Concerns about implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and red tape also caused many difficulties for farmers and growers. Only Denmark and Sweden were more optimistic about the current and future situation.
Copa & Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said, “Our agricultural barometer confirms that European farmers are really feeling the pressure. They are being squeezed by low farm gate prices and high input costs. I consequently urge the EU Commission and EU Farm Ministers to take action when they meet at the end of June. Additional support is crucial and new markets for our quality produce must be found.”
Photo Caption: Pekka Pesonen
Photo Credit: Copa & Cogeca
The post Farmer confidence at all time low says survey appeared first on Hort News on 21 June 2017.
NFU president Meurig Raymond has been elected by European farmers’ organisation Copa-Cogeca to represent EU farmers’ interests on the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain.
The forum, which seeks to improve relationships across the whole chain from consumers to farmers, processors and retailers, will be jointly chaired by EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan and the Commissioners for the Internal Market, Health and Food Safety.
Speaking in Brussels after his election Mr Raymond said, “I am very pleased to have this opportunity to work on the improvement of the European food supply chain. The NFU lobbied hard for the government to introduce the Groceries Code and Adjudicator in the UK. Although it isn’t perfect, it has improved relations between suppliers and retailers. I will be highlighting our experience – as Commissioner Hogan so frequently does – to my colleagues on the forum to ensure our example of best practice is shared throughout Europe.
“The NFU continues to call on the European Commission to bring forward legislation to deal with unfair trading practices. We want to ensure that British farmers receive a fair deal in the food chain both at home and abroad. The new High Level Forum is a chance to improve the food chain for the long term – deal with unfair trading, iron out volatility and create opportunities for the farming sector. The food chain is now in the political spotlight, and I intend to keep it there.”
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