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Farm organisation & agri-cooperative Presidents from across Europe unite to warn of unprecedented crisis hitting EU agricultural markets

COPA COGECA’s press release

Political pressure is mounting for the European Commission as the agricultural crisis continues to lead European farmers in its wake: pork prices are below the level of eleven years ago, milk is cheaper than water and finally none of the measures taken by the European Commission have had any positive impact on prices. Confronted with this, to say the least, disturbing picture, the COPA COGECA are calling for collective action and are showing the convergent views of all European agricultural organizations and cooperatives.

In a press release, reproduced below
1, the Presidents of COPA COGECA express their fears with regards free trade agreements like the one being negotiated with Mercosur. They also call for return of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to being truly common in order to provide a response to agricultural crises in a Europe that does not possess the mechanisms that make other agricultures strong. They are implying the heavy responsibility of European decision-makers: an inefficient CAP that undeniably wants to go it alone, the renationalisation of the CAP, and consequently the challenging of Europe’s construction by breaking down of one of its main achievement.

In addition, COPA COGECA remind us of the importance of access to market data for everyone and insist on the very Important role of cooperatives that are for farmers the first level of action against market instability.

momagri Editorial Board

Farm organisation & agri-cooperative Presidents from across Europe unite to warn of unprecedented crisis hitting EU agricultural markets & stress future CAP must ensure competitivity.

Presidents of the farm organisations and agri-cooperatives from across Europe united in Brussels today to warn of the unprecedented crisis hitting EU agricultural markets & called on the EU for immediate solutions to tackle it.

Copa President Martin Merrild said “The situation is not sustainable. Measures agreed by the EU to improve the situation have had little impact. The market – especially for beef, pork and dairy – is continuing to worsen, fueled by the Russian ban on EU farm exports. Pork prices are lower that they were eleven years ago. It is unacceptable that farmers are paying the price of the political dispute with Russia. Re-opening this market is a priority. Farmers & agri-cooperatives are also more exposed to market forces and they need access to market data so that they can plan ahead and hedge against risks”.

He continued “To make it worse, the EU Commission is moving ahead with opening up the EU market to imports from the Latin American Trade bloc Mercosur, which would have a catastrophic impact on the EU agricultural market, especially beef. These imports do not meet the EU’s high environmental and quality standards and there are still serious concerns about safety aspects of meat production in these countries and their use of antibiotic growth promoters which is banned in the EU. We want a level playing field. Imports to the EU must meet our high production standards. The EU must also step up action to find new markets and boost promotion measures for our produce. This crisis shows the importance of having a truly common agriculture policy. In the future, we need a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that is common in all member states and ensures our competitiveness as the current CAP is incapable of this. There’s something definitely wrong when the price of milk is lower than the price of water.”

Cogeca President Thomas Magnusson went on to underline the importance of getting the food chain working properly again so that farmers get a better return from the market and are not squeezed unfairly. The European Investment Bank (EIB) also needs to start delivering in order to develop the right financial instruments to help farmers invest in their businesses and improve competitiveness. Agri-cooperatives can help farmers get a better price for their produce and can assist them on new innovative techniques but they need the support to ensure this. Immediate solutions from the EU must be found to tackle this unprecedented crisis which has been hitting farmers and agri-cooperatives for years. They are vital not only to solve hunger and malnutrition but also to maintain attractive rural areas and biodiversity”. Copa & Cogeca are set to hold a workshop to start debating the future of the CAP in May.

1 The entire press release is available from

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Paris, 16 June 2019