This morning, on the occasion of the conference organized by MEPs Michel Dantin (EPP) and Paolo de Castro (S&D) in the European Parliament, AREFLH unveiled its’ unveiled its White Paper on the ‘Fruit and Vegetable CMO: a positive review of the 20 years of the Common Market Organisation’.
In the presence of a large public gathering more than eighty representatives of European institutions, regional governments and professional organizations, AREFLH highlighted the role of the F&V CMO as a key instrument for the development of the sector: an original and innovative tool that puts POs and APOs at the center of the system and that has succeeded in combining competitiveness and sustainability as the key to grouping producers and strengthening the sector.
In his opening speech, Michel Dantin underlined the role of the CMO in the realization of real progress in many fields such as the concentration of supply, quality improvement, the environment, research and innovation. His counterpart, Nuno Melo, stressed the need to continue developing and improving crisis management tools for a sector that is confronted with frequent crises. The European Commission, represented by Jens Schaps, Director at DG Agri, reaffirmed the importance of the F&V CMO as a model for other sectors of European agriculture.
The White Paper also presents a series of proposals for future improvements to meet the challenges of globalization, the growing demand for “green” products, the need for better concentration of supply and improve the efficiency of POs, more effective risk management and the need to invest in innovation within the sector and in the faster development of environmentally friendly productions.
Simona Caselli, President of the AREFLH, recalled that the fruit and vegetable CMO should represent, for the present and for the future, an indispensable instrument not only for its positive impact on the sector but also for the specificity of its administrative and financial arrangements. Jean-Louis Moulon, Vice-President and President of the AREFLH Producers’ College, emphasized the role of the CMO as a vehicle for grouping supply to successfully face a highly concentrated distribution as well as to ensure an important social and territorial anchoring through the employment of a large and increasingly qualified workforce.
This event also allowed stakeholders in the sector to share their experiences and to demonstrate how the CMO has been a vehicle for progress for producers and their organizations. For Pascal Pineau, producer of the PO Pom’Evasion, ‘the CMO, through its operational programs, has made it possible to have better added value thanks to the action of the common commercial service’.
Paolo de Castro concluded the conference by pointing out that the fruit and vegetable sector is a strategic sector for Europe, and stressed the need to continue to concentrate supply and strengthen producers organisations in order to be better able to face the challenges posed by mass retailing and by international competition.
The White Paper on Fruit and Vegetable CMO is available on this link.