Roman, from Kalisz, in Poland, asks the EU Commissioner in charge of agriculture and rural development, Dacian Ciolos: “Will reform of the Common Agricultural Policy help us farmers to increase our competitiveness?”
Dacian Ciolos responds: “There are at least three elements in the answer to your question about how the Common Agricultural Policy reform, or CAP, will support competetivity. First: how producers are organised. For them to compete well, they must be better organised, and their negotiating power in the agro-food chain must be reinforced. Here we have proposals aimed at funding the creation of producers’ organisations and funding the operating costs.
“A second element to boost competitivity is to manage the markets well, and there we propose using market measures as a stronger safety net, generally to be able to invervene when there is a crisis, so we can step in when there is a risk that farmers’ incomes will be hit by falling prices. The proposals we are working on cover a lot more products than are covered now.
“The third essential element is your access as a farmer to the results of research and innovation. Here we propose financial instruments that will not only reinforce research and innovation applied to agriculture and associated businesses but will reinforce the link that you farmers and organisations can have with the research sector in order to put research results into practice as swiftly as possible.”