EU Institutions Urged to Include Report Findings in Final CAP Agreement28 March 2013
EU - Copa-Cogeca has urged EU institutions to ensure that findings on the reports by the EU Commission are fully reflected in the final agreement on the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) expected in June.
The new reports have confirmed that agri-cooperatives play a vital role in helping farmers to capture a better share of the value added in the food chain and in strengthening their positioning on the market.
The move comes as the EU Commission, Council and MEPs begin talks to hammer out a final deal. The findings are crucial when up against the huge buying power of a few retailers.
The reports look at the situation in 27 member states. They show that when cooperatives have a large market share, the price level in a region can increase for farmers and market volatility can be reduced. This is particularly important given that volatility on agriculture markets is one of the biggest challenges facing farmers at the moment.
They also indicate that cooperatives are more important in some sectors and in some countries. They show that they are more important in the dairy and fruit and vegetables sectors, for example. The intensity of branding marketing strategies also differs by sector, with branded consumer products found in the dairy and wine sectors and to a lesser extent in the fruit and vegetables and olive oil sectors.
Agri-cooperatives are essential in ensuring market access and in reducing payment uncertainty for farmers, the report says. It also indicates that adjustments to EU competition law would be beneficial to help rebalance the power in the food chain.
Speaking in Brussels, Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said: "Copa-Cogeca very much welcomes the publication of these reports which show the benefits of agri-cooperatives and the benefits for farmers by organising themselves in cooperatives. These findings must be reflected in the new CAP.
"The potential of agri-cooperatives needs to be fully exploited. I welcome as a step in the right direction the proposal to extend product coverage for recognition of producer organisations (POs), like cooperatives – it is vital to reinforce farmers position in the food chain by strengthening producer organisations and cooperatives to enable farmers to get a better return from the market.
"But producer organisations, like cooperatives, must be prioritised for funding under EU rural development policy in the new CAP to help ensure we have a viable agri-food sector in the future."
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