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EU high-level group’s recommendations on the competitiveness of the agro-food industry must be followed by concrete action


18 Mar 2009


Agriculture & Food
Health & Consumers

The EU’s high-level group on the competitiveness of the agro-food industry, which meets under the chairmanship of Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen, today agreed on a number of recommendations to increase the competitiveness of the European food chain. Copa-Cogeca
strongly support these efforts, which must now be followed by concrete action.

Pekka Pesonen, the Secretary General of Copa-Cogeca and a member of the high-level group said, “We are pleased that the issue of market power in the food chain is being taken seriously.

Today’s decision to create a voluntary code of conduct is of particular importance and a signal from Europe that the whole food chain – farmers and agri-cooperatives in particular - has been awaiting for a long time.”

“We are equally pleased that the recommendations include the need to reach a fair and balanced WTO agreement. European food production is sustainable, both environmentally and socially. So far, the trade talks have been set to benefit only producers of cheap agricultural commodities, who disregard issues like environmental protection and animal welfare. Having a fair deal means
that issues like food security are properly addressed”, he added.

Mr Pesonen concluded with a word of caution, “We would, however, have liked to see more attention paid to the issue of market volatility. Food markets will not be as stable in the future as they have been in the past. Price fluctuations are becoming more and more extreme. Having
more transparent pricing is therefore of critical importance.”

For further information, please contact:
Paulo Gouveia
Tel.: +32 2 287 27 35
Simon Michel-Berger
Press Officer
Mobile: + 32 474 840 836


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