Task force starts work to improve farmers’ food chain position

The European Commission (EC) has formally established its new Agricultural Markets Task Force with the remit of improving the position of farmers in the food chain.

Headed by Dutch government minister, Cees Veerman, the new body consists of 12 experts, all of whom have “considerable experience and expertise from different aspects of the food chain” according to a statement issued by the EC. The UK representative is United Dairy Farmers’ CEO, David Dobbin.

“With greater market orientation of EU policies and increasing trade liberalisation in recent years, the EU agriculture sector is no longer shielded from global developments in the food supply chain,” said the EC.

“The mandate for the Task Force is therefore to discuss relevant issues such as market transparency, access for farmers to financial instruments and futures markets to hedge price risks, options for arranging contractual relations within the chain and legal possibilities for organising farmers’ collective actions. All of this is with a view to improving the position of farmers in the food chain.”

The Task Force will hold a number of meetings in the coming months, calling on relevant stakeholders to appear at the different sessions, as well as taking input from representatives from the Council, the European Parliament and the EC. The aim is then for the Task Force to present a report in the autumn with its findings, which may include concrete recommendations for policy and legislative initiatives.

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