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EU Farmers Call For Action

31 March 2010

EU - In a meeting with the Spanish Presidency today, EU Farm Leaders called for action to be taken immediately to improve the catastrophic situation in the EU farm sector, warning farm incomes are at the low levels seen in the 1990s.

Speaking to Spanish Farm Minister Elena Espinosa, Copa President Padraig Walshe stressed “The economic crisis has seriously hit EU farmers, with a huge income drop of 12 per cent seen last year.

"Some sectors were particularly affected, with drops of as much as 30 per cent seen in the EU cereals sector, 24 per cent in the EU olive oil sector, 21 per cent in the EU dairy sector and 12 per cent in the EU fruit sector. Urgent action must be taken to prevent a complete collapse of the EU farm sector. Copa- Cogeca has already called for measures to be introduced immediately in the EU fruit and vegetables sector, with increased withdrawal possibilities for fruit. There must also be reasonable management of dairy stocks and full use of market management tools in the cereals sector”.

“In the long term, adjustments to the CAP post-2013 must focus on strengthening the economic production role of farmers, and we need an enhanced budget to achieve this. We need a vibrant Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with measures to enable farmers to withstand crises. In addition to maintenance of strong common market measures, we believe that market risk management tools and export promotion tools should be examined more”.

Cogeca President Paolo Bruni insisted: “Farmers market position in the food chain must be strengthened significantly. In the case of bread, for example, the retail price can currently be as much as 30 times the farm gate price, with farmers receiving in general around eight per cent of the final retail price. Copa-Cogeca consequently supports the draft EU Council Conclusions to improve the functioning of the food supply chain.

"We want to ensure that producer groups of which cooperatives are the predominant legal form have a strong, economically viable position in the food chain. We consequently fully agree with the statement in the paper that cooperatives and possibly other producer organisations should be strengthened and whenever appropriate their size enlarged.”

TheCattleSite News Desk



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