Copa & Cogeca debate ways with EU Commission & MEPs to protect farmers against increasing risks in EU agriculture sector

Up against increasing risks, Copa & Cogeca discussed in Brussels this week with the EU Commission and MEPs possible ways to help protect farmers against risks such as bad weather conditions, pests and diseases as well as greater market volatility, in agriculture.

Speakers at the event underlined the fact that farmers are up against increasing challenges ranging from higher price volatility to extreme weather events. They are also exposed to many factors which increases their vulnerability to specific risks and crises which are beyond their control. The workshop consequently looked at various options to protect farmers against risks in agriculture.

The workshop was designed to get a better understanding of the current level of implementation across the EU of risk management measures under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and how to improve uptake of such measures. A panel of experts discussed the role that risk management schemes could play in the future CAP. Options discussed included insurance and mutual funds to help protect against the effects of poor weather conditions, pests and diseases as well as stabilizing incomes. Risk management measures already exist at national level in many countries and some possibilities are also available under the Single Common Market Organisation (CMO) and EU rural development policy.

Speaking at the event, Copa & Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said “Discussions today showed the increasing importance of tools to help farmers better manage risk. We need to make current tools more visible and make them work better under EU rural development policy and promote their uptake. Measures need to remain voluntary for producers to apply so that they have the choice of whether or not to take out harvest insurance. It’s also important that the schemes are efficient and attractive for farmers in order to increase the uptake of the them. Cooperatives play an important role as they can provide the tools to help farmers better manage risk. We will continue working on this to feed to into our position on the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2020 ”.

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