EU farmers ’slightly’ more confident

New results from Copa-Cogeca’s survey for the first quarter of 2014 show confidence amongst farmers in their economic situation has picked up slightly in the past year, mainly as a result of a slight recovery in EU farm prices and lower input costs and a gradual emergence from the economic recession.

But Copa-Cogeca’s Secretary General Pekka Pesonen warned that this improved situation masks big differences between Member States and between sectors and also stems from a particularly critical situation. Fears also remain that this recovery may be fragile and temporary. Indeed, preliminary results from more recent surveys show that farmers’ mood is down again, he added.

Copa-Cogeca has run this agricultural barometer survey in collaboration with 10 National Member Organisations since 2010. The barometer shows that confidence improved in the first quarter of 2014 in five countries. The countries include Italy and France where increased confidence in the general economic situation went hand in hand with increasing confidence in the situation for agricultural activities. Romanian and German farmers were also more positive, but their expectations on future EU agricultural policy differs. In Sweden, dairy farmers were found to have a more positive outlook than before. Signs of recovery were also seen in the Netherlands, especially in the horticulture and poultry sectors. All in all, the agricultural business barometer in Hungary remained stable, but at a low level. Finally, confidence deteriorated in Belgium and Poland, the survey shows, in most sectors. Deteriorating trade relations with Russia and political tension in Eastern Europe were common fears across countries and sectors.

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