New Copa & Cogeca chairman: marketing and differentiating produce through quality will be increasingly important in future

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New Copa & Cogeca Chairman of the Quality Working Party underlined the importance of marketing and differentiating produce though quality, saying it will be of increasing strategic importance in the future.

Speaking after his election in Brussels today, Mr Jochum said “Up against increasing competition, market differentiation through quality is going to be of increasing strategic importance in the future. It will be a priority for me to work on this during my 2 year mandate. I believe that the CAP will play an important role here to help farmers achieve it”.

“Also with the further liberalization of trade, it will be important to differentiate our products through quality and raise awareness of the high quality standards we meet. The EU system of geographical indications to protect our quality products against imitations and to highlight the diversity of our traditions and our regions is important here. The EU’s new promotion policy which came into force last December will also be a key tool to promote them. The Commission is now assessing applications under the new promotion scheme. It is also simplifying the EU quality schemes to make them more effective and it will be a priority for me to contribute to this process and to make sure that the rules are easy to apply. I also believe that a combination of private and public quality schemes will be key to boosting our competitiveness”.

He pointed to Copa & Cogeca’s new internal survey which shows the strategic importance of quality certification schemes to help differentiate products in an increasingly competitive market place. “This survey carried out with our member organisations shows that the number of private quality assurance schemes is on the rise and that they are proving an essential marketing tool to help differentiate products in the marketplace. On highly competitive markets with similar products, differentiating an agricultural product and foodstuff through quality is one key factor for success”, he added.

Wrapping up, he said “Ensuring the quality of agricultural production is a priority for EU farmers and agri-cooperatives and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) plays an important role here”.

Mr Christian Jochum is an agricultural economist and has been responsible for food quality and quality assurance in agriculture within the Austrian Chambers of Agriculture for many years. He will be supported by two Vice-Chairman Giulio Benvenuti from the Alliance of Italian agri-food cooperatives and Claire Martin from Coop de France.

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