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Copa-Cogeca organises large demonstration of farmers from all across EU in Luxembourg


23 Jun 2009


Agriculture & Food
Sustainable Dev.

22 June 2009

Copa and Cogeca, the organisations representing European agriculture, today held a large demonstration at the meeting of the Agricultural Council. Over five thousand farmers from all 27 countries of the Union and over 300 tractors came to Luxembourg to alert the public and the agriculture ministers to the crisis in agriculture in general and milk in particular.
Speaking at the demonstration, Padraig Walshe, President of Copa said, “The situation has reached a critical point: The prices our farmers are receiving for their products are at their lowest level in years, for some products even in decades. Today we have met with the President of the Council, Commissioner Fischer Boel and other key policy makers and explained our situation. We have been told that they would soon announce concrete measures to alleviate the problems for our farmers and send a signal of support to European agriculture.”
Paolo Bruni, first Vice-President of Cogeca, added, “Following our request, the European Council has, at its meeting last week, announced that an in-depth study would soon be available to look at how the situation could be improved for dairy farmers. The Council has also sent us a strong message that they are preparing measures to address the imbalances in the food chain, notably the strong power of the retailers. We cooperatives will always try our utmost to strengthen the market position of our members, the farmers and we hope that the Council will grant us the support that we need to do so.”
In conclusion, both President showed themselves cautiously optimistic with the political outcome of the demonstration. They stressed that only Copa-Cogeca, the representation of farmers and cooperatives at EU level, could have organised a demonstration on this scale and warned that they were ready to do so again, if the Council ignores the severity of the situation and the income crisis in which farmers find themselves.”

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