Copa & Cogeca welcomed this week European Farm Commissioner Phil Hogans’ statement that the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) must be adequately funded and that simplification of policy is fundamental.
Speaking to European Farmers and agri-cooperative Presidents from all across Europe, EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “I want to give farmers the right tools to responsibly manage the agriculture markets with an adequate budget”. He underlined the important role of farmers as custodians of the countryside, saying no one else can do it.
He also supported many of Copa & Cogeca recent statements on the future CAP, saying he agreed with us that with increasingly volatile markets, we need to put more focus on measures to help farmers better manage risks and develop futures markets. He backed Copa & Cogeca statement that generation renewal is another key aspect as we need to get new blood into the sector and make it easier to enter the industry with more targeted measures to help younger farmers set up.
Copa President Martin Merrild went on to underline that we don’t need a reform of the CAP but just changes where things don’t work especially on simplification. “We are talking about a CAP that supports farmers in being competitive and in being environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. A CAP which stabilises their incomes and gives them the opportunity to invest in new more modern technologies”.
“We need to keep the current structure of the CAP with both the I and II pillars of the CAP as it has worked quite well in achieving this and also for consumers in providing them with healthy, nutritious, quality food supplies at affordable prices”, he added.
“A key point for us is the simplification of current policy”, he said. “We have supported greening requirements under the CAP and try to make it work but a key problem or us is the immense complexity of it and bureaucracy. The future CAP must deliver a common, simplified, less bureaucratic policy that better responds to the challenges of the farming sector”, he added. “Direct payments – for which farmers have to comply with stringent environmental requirements – also provide farmers with some stability and certainty in the face of market volatility. They must be maintained”, he stressed.
His statements were supported by Cogeca President Mr Magnusson who underlined the importance of further encouraging the development of cooperatives which help farmers to join together and market their produce. Mr Magnusson also highlighted the need for the CAP to be backed by adequate financing and to continue to find new market opportunities for our quality produce. Here export credits could be useful to give operators better conditions to be present on international markets, he concluded.