The organisation of European farmers, Copa-Cogeca, has urged the European Union to bolster the economic role played by farmers in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This will allow farmers to make a greater contribution to the EU’s economic strategy for 2020. Farmers can also help safeguard the 28 million jobs in the European agricultural sector. The European Commission has launched a consultation exercise because it wants to reform the CAP in 2013.
The chairman of Copa, Padraig Walshe, highlighted the importance of the agricultural sector to the European Union: “It is estimated that one in six jobs in Europe is linked to a greater or lesser degree to the agricultural sector. Incomes in the agricultural sector are continuing to fall, whereas unemployment is rising. The protests by farmers and cooperatives in Brussels are telling symptoms.”
Cogeca chairman, Paolo Bruni, added: “We have submitted a number of proposals to the EU for the CAP(post-2013).”
Bruni expects that the market power of farmers can be bolstered by joining forces through the formation of cooperatives. Measures that help farmers to be more market-driven are also among Copa-Cogeca’s recommendations. With the right measures and support, the sector can also help combat climate change, believes Bruni.