EU agriculture ministers meet in Bratislava to discuss farmers' position in the food supply chain and unfair trade practices
Bratislava 13. September 2016 – Slovak Agriculture Minister Gabriela Matečná received fellow agriculture and rural development ministers from the other EU Member States for an informal AGRIFISH meeting in Bratislava. The ministers discussed strengthening of the farmers' position in the food supply chain.
In recent years, the globalising processes in the world and European markets have resulted in significant structural changes in the food supply chain and primary agricultural producers have gradually become a link of the food supply chain with the lowest bargaining power. Incomparably greater degree of globalisation and integration in other levels of the food supply chain exposes farmers to considerable risks of market instability and price volatility.
“It is necessary, that we let farmers and producers to get a fair deal on the margins. Only in this way will customers have access to quality food for reasonable price in the whole European Union. Only this way we will be able to food self-sufficiency of the union and our agriculture and agricultural producers will be competitive,” said Gabriela Matečná. The price formation process is currently largely not transparent, organization of agricultural producers is low and trade relations are deformed by unfair trading practices. Mr. Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for agriculture and rural development stated that: „As we are working to address the agricultural crisis in the short term, we are well advised to keep looking at the longer term for solutions that can structurally improve the situation of farmers.“
Majority of the member states agreed on a unified EU-wide approach against the application of unfair trading practices. “Farmers are taking care of our food and therefore of our health. It is necessary that they have fair trade conditions on the whole common market,” emphasized Mrs. G. Matečná.
Speakers at the meeting will included also the chair of the AGRI committee of the European parliament Mr. Czeslaw Siekierski, the secretary general of COPA COGECA, Mr. Pekka Juhana Pessonen, the president of COGECA, Mr. Nils-Erik Tomas Magnusson, the president of CEJA, Alan Jagoe and the general director of DG AGRI, Mr. Jerzy Plewa.