Risk management and building resilience within the agricultural sector has been highlighted as a key focus for EU Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan and national ministers under the next CAP reform.
This month’s informal Agricultural Council meeting (03-05 September) focused on the topic, with Ministers calling for an overhaul the current crisis reserve, worth €400 million per year, which has never been mobilised. Minister Creed argued that collecting the fund at a national level would provide more flexibility to use the fund and to deal with national issues. He highlighted the “invaluable” role that Irish dairy cooperatives have played in managing volatility for their members, referencing a number of fixed milk price and fixed margin schemes available.
Commissioner Hogan, supported by Minister Creed, stated that he wanted Europe to develop its own futures market, as “we are relying too much on [external] futures at the moment – largely led by the New Zealand authorities”. ICOS has called for the Commission to enhance its collection and disseminating of market information through the EU market observatories, which is essential for the development of these futures market. It is also necessary that there is a degree of standardisation across member states on the data provided.
Hogan will incorporate these comments into his Communication on the Modernisation & Simplification of the CAP, which is to be published at the end of November, ahead of a legislative proposal in early 2018.
By Alison Graham
European Affairs Executive