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Copa and Cogeca underlined the importance of having a strong CAP in the future, with a strong budget behind it, to stabilize EU farm incomes and to keep rural areas alive.

In a high-level meeting with the Bulgarian Agricultural Minister, Copa President Joachim Rukwied said “We cannot accept any EU agricultural spending cuts. A strong budget is vital for the future of agriculture and of rural areas. We are very concerned about the impact of the Commission proposal on the future CAP. We want a strong, competitive and sustainable CAP in the future, with common and simple rules across the EU. The new delivery model outlined in this proposal will not deliver a real simplification for farmers.

“We are very concerned that direct payments, the best way to stabilise farmer’s incomes and to help them to better manage income risks, are being cut. Farmers’ incomes are already 40% of average earnings and are continuing to decline, causing an exodus from the rural areas, especially the young. We reject any capping or digressively of payments as proposed by the Commission. It is crucial to ensure that there is no renationalization of the CAP, and it is backed up by a stronger budget,” added Rukwied.

Cogeca President Thomas Magnusson went on to highlight some aspects of the Commission proposal on the future CAP, saying “we are pleased to see that the Commission has put greater focus on smart farming and on risk management measures in its plan. Broad band access is vital so that farmers and cooperatives can make use of new technologies like smart farming and encourage generation renewal. He underlined the importance of having a strong rural development pillar to ensure the vitality of rural areas, and warned that the proposed cuts will put this at risk.”

Magnusson also drew attention to the difficult situation on some EU agricultural markets.

“Reductions in cereals, oilseeds, forage output are forecast in some cases, due to bad weather conditions, with drought seen in some Northern countries and floods in some southern countries. EU sugar beet growers have also been badly affected by high world stocks and low prices. The pork market meanwhile remains fragile but stable. On the dairy market, butter prices are seeing historical highs, reaching 589 euros/100 kg today and the skimmed milk powder price is gradually recovering at 152 euros/100 kg, with indications that demand is growing. The move came as the issue was discussed by EU Farm Ministers in Luxembourg today.”

Source: Copa and Cogeca

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