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The importance of investment by agri co-operatives to ensure future competitiveness was one of the central discussion points of the Congress of European Farmers, held in Linz, Austria from 10-12 October.

Attended by ICOS President – Michael Spellman, CEO – TJ Flanagan and European Affairs Executive – Alison Graham, the Congress explored the new information and digital paradigm facing the future of agriculture and the need for farmers to be increasingly innovative, sustainable and resilient.

Regarding the future CAP the Congress called for a stable budget with no cuts to direct payments or rural development. Simplification must be a priority, especially at the Member State level, where a high degree of transparency will be necessary for the development of national strategic plans ensuring that the commonality of the CAP is not compromised.

Additionally, the importance of investment by and within co-operatives was highlighted in order to maintain competitiveness while also improving sustainability, creating new jobs in rural areas and improving local infrastructure. It was stressed this goes hand-in-hand with attracting young farmers into agriculture and into co-operative structures, as young potential farmers seek vibrant and connected rural communities and stable incomes.


Alison Graham

European Affairs Executive