In a meeting with the Irish Presidency, CopaVice-President Lorenzo Ramos urged EU Farm Ministers to get a good deal on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) by June and outlined key issues needed to achieve this. The move came as EU Farm Ministers debated the issue and negotiators intensified trialoguetalks to hammer out a final deal on the CAP. It also came as Copa-Cogecalaunched its new “Farming Counts” campaign and competition, highlighting the value of farming for quality food supplies, for the environment and as a key driver of the economy. Speaking to Irish Minister Simon Covenay, Mr Ramos said Ministers position taken in March goes in the right direction and he hoped that they would maintain many elements of it. “For example, on measures to further green the CAP, we fully support Ministers proposal so that farmers can receive the greening payment for carrying out practices deemed to be “equivalent” to the 3 main greening measures set out under reform”, Mr Ramos said. He also said that support must go to active farmers, pointing out that Ministers approachon this goes in the right direction. In addition, Copa-Cogecasupports the prolongation of SAPs to 2020, boosting investment support for young farmers and believes that the small farmer scheme should be voluntary to apply. Mr Ramos went on to underline the need to reinforce farmersposition in the food chain by strengthening producer organisations and cooperatives to enable farmers to get a better return from the market. He welcomed as a step in the right direction the EU Commission proposal to extend product coverage for recognition of producer organisations (POs) but stressed that the specific provisions of fruit and vegetable organisations must be kept. He called for a positive and rapid decision on CAP reform and for smooth transitional arrangements to enable the new CAP, including rural development measures, to apply in full in 2015. Outside EU Farm Ministers meeting, Copa-Cogeca also launched its new “Farming Counts” campaign, distributing leaflets and tomatoes highlighting our demands and the many benefits of agriculture in providing food to millions everyday and in ensuring 26 million jobs mainly in rural areas. #vote farming. The posters will be set up at Schuman, Garedu Midi, Gare Centrale and Merode. Enter our competition on our website and win a prize set to be presented to winners at European Parliament in September. In addition, Mr Pesonen expressed his concern about the impact of the EU Tobacco Directive on EU tobacco farmers and the lack of alternative sources of employment.Copa-CogecaSecretary- General Pekka Pesonen went on to welcome the fact that the Irish Presidency wants to reach a political agreement on Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform this week. He underlined key priorities for Copa-Cogeca, especially the maximum sustainable yield and discard ban, stressing the need for practical, flexible and workable rules, in particular taking into account mixed fisheries and the high survival rates of some species. He also welcomed the timely conclusion of the Common Market Organisation regulation with the Parliament but criticized the recent sharp increase in Iceland and the Faroe Islands mackerel quota and urged the Commission to take action



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