Copa and Cogeca released new figures today confirming a drop in EU cereals and oilseeds production this year, compared to last year, and expressed serious concerns over farmers cash flow problems.
The move came at Copa-Cogecas’ Cereal and Oilseeds Working Parties. Chairman of the Cereals Working Party Max Schulman said “Latest figures confirm that the EU-28 cereals production will be down 6.9% this year to reach 298 million tonnes, compared to 320.5 mt last year, partly due to the impact of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and bad weather conditions in many countries. But it is still a good harvest as last year there were record levels. Grain prices are rock-bottom and do not even cover production costs, leaving farmers with serious cash flow problems”.
“We therefore need to step up exports and find new market outlets. We welcome EU Commission plans to boost EU promotion programmes. Agri-cooperatives are also helping farmers to better manage their cash flow since the last season and we welcome the fact that the EU Commission has proposed paying farmers direct payments in advance without on-the-spot controls. This move will help improve farmers cash flow. The new rules on financial markets (MifidII) should also take into account the agriculture sector with tools to protect farmers against market risks”, he said.
He continued “This years’ EU-28 rapeseed harvest is also down by as much as 11.2% compared to last year mainly as a result of the neonicotinoid seed treatment ban and poor weather conditions. Action is vital here. A socio-economic impact assessment must be carried out by the European Commission “.
“There is however some good news in the EU protein crop sector which saw a tremendous increase of 35% in protein crop production partly due to the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and greening requirements. This is welcome news for the EU livestock sector and feed industry. We have to ensure that this production find its way on the market.