The new chairman of the Chairman of Copa & Cogeca Fruit and Vegetable Working Party has set out his priorities; including making sure that the European Union continues to support Producer Organisations (POs) in any post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Philippe Appeltans, who is Secretary-General of The Association of Belgian Horticultural Auctions (VBT) and member of the Belgian Farm Organisation Boerenbond, was speaking after his unanimous election in Brussels.
He said: “Fruit and vegetable POs such as cooperatives have played a positive role in helping producers to get a better price for their fruit and vegetables during the agricultural crisis. It was recognition of the positive role of POs which includes cooperatives in the fruit and vegetable sector that led, in the last reform of the CAP, the EU to put more focus on tools to support POs like cooperatives. And it must be continued and built on in the CAP post-2020 when an options paper is set to be released on this by the EU Commission in summer next year. We also need to make sure that the new member states encourage farmers to join POs like cooperatives as they are not very developed in these countries. They are highly concentrated in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands in the fruit and vegetable sector and we need to help them and extend them to other countries to enable farmers to better market their produce and get a better return for it.”
Photo credit: Copa Cogeca
From left to right – Vice Chairman Mr Sergio Tondini from the Italian Cooperative Alliance, Mr Appeltans, Secretary-General of The Association of Belgian Horticultural Auctions (VBT) and Mr Krzysztof Krzesniak from the Polish Agriculture Organisation Solidarnosc (NSZZ).