Hogan: ’cooperatives are essential to improve the position of farmers in the food supply chain’

The Commissioner for Agriculture of the European Union, Phil Hogan, has spoken yesterday on the seventh Congress of Agri-food Cooperatives Spain, which is taking since yesterday and it will finish today in Valencia and which brings together over 1000 representatives of cooperatives from all over the country. Hogan gave a lecture on “How to improve the potential of the European agriculture in the global economy”.

Phil Hogan has pointed out the need to promote the cooperative sector in all the agricultural sub-sectors, with the aim of increasing its competitiveness and of improving the position of farmers and livestock owners in the food supply chain.

In this regard, the Commissioner has described the instruments which the new CAP is establishing, within the framework of the single Common Organisation of the Market (CMO) as well as in the Rural Development programmes, to promote the character of the Producer Organisations (POs), in whose establishment the cooperatives are key structures, which have to play a fundamental role.

Hogan also mentioned the need to act at a European level, to cut down the unfair trade practices in the functioning of the food supply chain. In this regard, he said that the Spanish law of measures to improve the functioning of the food supply chain could be an example of actions to take for other Member States and also at Community level.

Subsequently, and enjoying his stay in the Community of Valencia, the Commissioner has visited various fruit and vegetable cooperatives of that region: Anecoop and Canso, which are Fruit- and Vegetable- Producer Organisations, to verify the contribution of the cooperatives to the growth and to the employment, the main priorities for the new European Commission.

ANECOOP is a second-degree cooperative which connects 83 primary cooperatives with thousands of member farmers. It is the first producer and exporter of fruits and vegetables in Spain, the world’s second marketer of citrus fruits (it markets some 700.000 tonnes) and the first trader in other products such as watermelon and persimmon.

For its part, the Cooperative CANSO, recognized as Fruit-and Vegetable-Producer Organisation, has connections with 1.300 farmers, employs 1.600 people and produces some 70.000 tonnes of citrus fruits, persimmon and other fruits.

The Commissioner was able to see how important to be competitive in the global market is the current European system support for fruit and vegetables based in Producers Organisations and Operational Funds

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