Copa-Cogeca underlines need to step up research and innovation to meet growing food demand

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen underlined the importance of stepping up research and innovation to ensure we have a strong and sustainable European agriculture sector capable of meeting future demand at a gathering of key farming stakeholders organized this week.

The event”Let’s keep Europe growing: Ensuring a sustainable and productive future for European agriculture”. organized by the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA), brought together speakers from the across the farming sector and food chain. They highlighted the need for innovation and a balanced, science-based approach to regulation. This is vital if Europe is to remain productive and competitive – and help meet the challenge of feeding a rapidly growing world population – in the coming decades.

Speaking at the event, Pekka Pesonen stressed “A strong EU agriculture sector is vital for growth and jobs, economy and society. We urge EU decision-makers to maximise the huge potential of the European agriculture, forestry, aquaculture and fisheries sectors. They form the backbone of EU rural areas and are key for creating new business opportunities. These sectors have played a positive role in helping member states to overcome the current economic crisis and also make a serious contribution to combatting climate change and diversifying energy supply. Copa-Cogeca therefore urges candidates in the European elections to campaign for the maintenance of a European agriculture sector that is sustainable, competitive, resource efficient. To achieve this, investment in the sector must be stepped up significantly, research and innovation encouraged. The food chain also needs to work better to enable farmers to get a better return from the market. In addition, fair and balanced bilateral free trade agreements are crucial”.

The workshop looked at the impact a range of regulatory challenges could have on the future of farming – and highlighted the work already being done by industry and by farmers as part of the Hungry for Change campaign to make sure productive agriculture is also sustainable in a way that benefits us all. Hungry for Change is an industry initiative that helps contribute to the highest standards of farming sustainability with partnership projects in four key areas: food, water, biodiversity and health. For more information visit www.hungry4change.eu.

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