EU - Copa has elected a new President, Martin Merrild from Denmark, to lead European farmers for the next two years, with top priorities including a cut in red tape and better prices for farmers.
Speaking after the vote in Brussels, Mr Merrild said: “I am honoured to be elected President of Copa and I will aim to ensure it becomes stronger and more powerful. A top priority for me is to cut red tape and simplify EU regulations and bureaucracy. It is also of course to get higher prices for producers and improve international competitiveness”.
“What we need is a stable EU agricultural policy which gives producers sufficient flexibility when they produce so that they can contribute to one of the biggest challenges over the next decade: the need for increased food production for a world population growing at a rate of 140, 000 people every day and also the fight against climate change which threatens food production. Global food production is expected to drop by 17 per cent for each degree of temperature rise as a consequence of more extreme weather such as drought and flooding. Producing more with less will be the key words,” he stressed.
“As Copa President, I will also be advocating a strong export strategy aiming at opening new export markets, especially in Asia. I will also continue Copa’s pro-active line in the present EU free trade negotiations with the USA (TTIP) but will ensure that our high production standards are respected. I will also press to conclude the trade talks with Japan," he added.
Mr Merrild is a farmer with a degree in Agricultural Economics and Specialised Business Studies. He has been President of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council (DAFC) since 2012.
Mr Merrild will be supported by 6 new Vice-Presidents. They are Eddie Downey (Irish Farmers' Association, Ireland); Roberto Moncalvo (Coldiretti National Confederation of Active Farmers, Italy); Henri Brichart (National Federation of Farmers' Unions, France); Maira Dzelzkal?ja (Farmers' Parliament, Latvia); Franz Reisecker (Chambers of Agriculture, Austria); Miklós Zsolt Kis (Chambers of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Hungary).
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