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Copa elects new President Joachim Rukwied

The European Farmers Organisation Copa, representing 23 million farmers and their families, elected a new President Joachim Rukwied from Germany in Brussels to help secure a viable future for EU farmers.

Speaking after his election, Mr Rukwied – an arable farmer from Germany - said “I will carry on with the excellent work of my predecessor Martin Merrild who helped to secure Copa’s position on the future CAP and pushed for a good trade deal between the EU and Japan”.

“I am a convinced European and I strongly believe in the European added value in the Common Agricultural Policy. A top priority for me will be to make sure that we have a strong, common more sustainable and simpler CAP in the years to come, supported by sufficient funding, to help farmers tackle the increasing challenges like climate change and volatile markets. It is crucial to simplify CAP rules, to cut bureaucracy for farmers and to make sure that we have common rules across the EU”, he stressed.

Outlining detailed measures, he said “It is important to keep direct payments at current levels in the first pillar of the CAP as this helps farmers to better manage income risks. Market safety nets must also be maintained and further developed. Focus also needs to be put on measures to help farmers better manage market risks with the development of futures 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. We need to see this reflected in the Commissions Communication on the CAP which could be released at the end of November”, he stressed.

“Farmers positioning in the food chain needs also to be improved. I welcome EU Agriculture Commissioner Hogan’s work here and I look forward to seeing concrete proposals in 2018 to eliminate Unfair Trade Practices in the food chain. We need legislation to curb UTPs since the voluntary approaches haven’t worked”, he added.

“I will also be seeking fair and balanced trade agreements. We have serious concerns about the current trade deals being negotiated with the EU Latin American Trade Bloc Mercosur as well as with Australia and New Zealand. I will push to make sure that I get a good deal for European farmers and that agriculture is not used as a bargaining chip in the talks”, he claimed.

“As far as Brexit is concerned, it will be important to minimalise any disruption to trade and to fill the 10.3 billion euros shortfall caused by the exit of the UK from the EU”, he added.

Joachim Rukwied is President of the German Farm Organisation DBV and he runs a 295 hectare arable crop farm, producing grain, sugar beet, oilseed rape and field vegetables. He is also a wine grower. He will be supported by six Vice-Presidents. These include Joe Healy from the Irish Farmers Association (IFA); Marian Sikora from the Polish Federation of Agricultural Producers; Henri Brichart (FNSEA); Roberto Moncalvo from the Italian Farmers’ Union Coldiretti; Martin Merrild from the Danish Agriculture and Food Council; Franz Reisecker from the Austrian Chamber of Agriculture (LKO).

For more information:
Copa Cogeca
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