Together with leading politicians, Copa & Cogeca supported today at a major hearing recommendations made by the EU Agri Markets Task Force to improve farmers weak position in the food chain to ensure that they get a fairer share of the price paid by consumers.
With farmers only getting 8% of the price of a loaf of bread, Copa President Martin Merrild stressed at a hearing in European Parliament “Facts clearly indicate that European farmers are not getting a fair share of the price paid by consumers. Analysis shows that that the share farmers get dropped from 31% in 1995 to just 21% in 2011. Copa & Cogeca consequently support the main recommendations of the group chaired by Cees Veerman, although we believe they could have gone further”.
“In particular, we support the recommendation for mandatory written contracts between farmers, processors and retailers. We also support the initiative to increase market transparency by creating market observatories in the milk, beef and pork sectors but they need to be extended to include other sectors like sheep meat”, he added.
“We also support the recommendation for EU legislation to help fight Unfair Trading Practices in the food chain. For us, an EU framework law is vital to curb UTPs – something we have long been calling for - so that operators are sanctioned when they break EU law. An independent third party ombudsman must impose sanctions whenever there is non-compliance”, he said. “It is also important to further develop futures markets. Efficient and well-functioning futures markets help farmers and agri-cooperatives to better manage risk and reduce their reliance on a single outlet. And we are further developing our postion on risk management tools. It is also a positive step that the use of export credit guarantees will be looked at to give exporters more certainty”, he insisted.
The recommendations were also supported by many leading politicians at the high level event including EU Commissioner Phil Hogan, MEPs Michel Dantin and Albert Dess. EU Farm Ministers have also supported the report. The task force was set up to look at solutions to the extreme volatility existing on EU agricultural markets and to help secure a more viable future for farmers and their cooperatives.
Tuesday January 12, 2017/ Copa-Cogeca/ UE.