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Measures to Manage Markets Needs Strengthening in EU

24 January 2012, at 3:20pm

EU - In the wake of increased market volatility, Copa-Cogeca yesterday welcomed EU Farm Ministers debate on measures needed to manage agricultural markets, and called for them to be strengthened. In particular, EU wine planting rights and sugar production quotas must be prolonged, Copa-Cogeca said in a high-level meeting with the Danish Presidency.

The measures are included in the Single Common Market Organisation (CMO) under the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Cogeca President Paolo Bruni insisted: “Excessive volatility disrupts markets, ruins farmers, destabilises the agri-food industry, affecting in particular the less developed countries. There must be much stronger measures under the future CAP to help farmers and agri-cooperatives to manage the market than the Commission has proposed. This is crucial."

Producer organisations, such as cooperatives, play an important role in helping farmers to better manage the extreme volatility on agriculture markets.

Copa-Cogeca is calling for them to be strengthened to help deal with such crises and to improve farmers positioning in the food chain. This will help farmers to get a better return from the market and to meet growing world food demand which is expected to rise by 70 per cent by 2050.

Paolo Bruni welcomed as a step in the right direction the Commission proposal under CAP reform to extend the product coverage for recognition of producer organisations (PO) but said there is a need for clarification of a PO in the EU.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen went on to call for EU sugar production quotas to be extended until at least 2020, instead of being phased out in 2015. Many Ministers also support this.

“In the dairy sector, market measures proposed by the Commission are insufficient given that the market is more open to market forces and volatility.

"Measures such as intervention and private storage are vital, but the EU intervention price for butter and skimmed milk powder needs to be updated to take account of the higher production costs farmers face. In the wine sector, planting rights must be keep to ensure a balanced wine market and maintain employment in rural areas. This has been supported already by 13 Member States and MEPs," he stressed.