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Copa and Cogeca call for more focus on risk management under CAP

Up against extreme market volatility, Copa and Cogeca told EU Farm Ministers that more focus must be put on measures to help farmers better manage risks under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The move came at EU Farm Ministers informal meeting in Tallinn which focused on the future CAP and risk management measures.



Speaking to Ministers, Cogeca President Thomas Magnusson – who runs a mixed dairy and forestry farm - welcomed the Estonian Presidency priorities to make progress on the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) over the next 6 months.

“Farmer’s incomes are currently at 40% of average earnings and they are suffering from increasing challenges like adverse weather events and increased market fluctuations. They will also have to produce a lot more food in the future to feed a growing population using less resources. We therefore need a strong and competitive CAP in the future with simpler, common rules and adequate funding to help farmers and their cooperatives to meet these challenges”, he explained.

Outlining measures, he said “Direct payments under the CAP must be kept in the first pillar of the CAP as this helps farmers and cooperatives to better manage income risks. Market safety nets must also be kept and further developed. Convergence and harmonisation of direct payments under the CAP must continue. Focus also needs to be put on measures to help farmers better manage market risks with the development of future markets to cope with the increasing market volatility. The risk management measures must remain voluntary for producers to apply and remain in the second pillar of the CAP. In this respect, agricooperatives can and do play an important role in managing market risks for their members as well as helping them have a better position in the food chain. EU studies show that agricooperatives help farmers to get a better price for their produce. For that reason, we need to encourage the development of agri-cooperatives”.

Wrapping up, he rejected a suggestion included in the EU Commission Reflections Paper on the future of EU finances post-2020 to introduce national co-funding for direct payments under the first pillar of the CAP, warning that it risks re-nationalising the CAP.

For more information:
Copa Cogeca
www.copa-cogeca.eu

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