COPA-COGECA WELCOMES IRISH PRESIDENCY AMBITIOUS AGENDATO GET AGREEMENT ON FUTURE CAP BY JUNE

agricoltura-campo-coltivatoIn a high level meeting with Irish Farm Minister Simon Coveney today, Copa-Cogeca welcomed the Irish Presidencys ambitious agenda which focuses on getting an agreement on the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and on fisheries reform by June at the latest. The move came as the Presidency presented the priorities to EU Farm Ministers today. But how far they will be able to do this will depend on whether there is an agreement on the future EU budget 2014-20 at the EU Summit on February 7-8. If there is no agreement on the new budget 2014-20 on February 8, this will not be possible, Mr Coveney warned. Supporting the Presidency, Cogeca President Christian Pees insisted that a speedy and positive decision is vital to enable an agreement on the new CAP in June and to allow farmers and agricooperatives to get on with their investment and production plans. In addition to increasing uncertainty to farmers on their future planning, Mr Pees also warned of the extreme volatility on agriculture markets which is one of the biggest challenges facing farmers and agri-cooperatives at the moment. Much stronger measures to better manage the market and to help farmers and cooperatives deal with the extreme market volatility are vital under the new CAP, he insisted. He also warned against any transfers of funds from the first to the second pillar of the CAP which has been proposed by MEPs and the EU Commission. The first pillar of the CAP will be more important than ever if the EU is to ensure food security, stability and sustainability.

To highlight the crucial need for a strong CAP backed by a strong EU budget, Copa-Cogeca will hold on February 6 a high-level meeting in Brussels with around 400 people. A major press conference will follow at 14.00 hr. Copa Vice President, Mr John Bryan insisted “Copa-Cogeca will be sending a clear, joint message in favour of a strong CAP budget to heads of state and governments, media and EU institutions. Farmers across Europe are united in their call for a strong CAP budget, in response to societys demands for safe, secure, sustainably produced high quality food supplies at affordable prices. Agriculture is vital for ensuring growth and employment in rural areas and has beneficial effects on other sectors”. Mr Coveney is also pushing for a good CAP budget. “It represents good value for money. People should not take food security for granted”, he said.

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