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Independent.ie

Friday 19 October 2018

European farmers have 'serious concerns' about their future

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

New survey reveals that European farmers are worried about future agriculture prospects

New results from Copa and Cogecas’ survey in the third quarter of 2017 shows that farmers are concerned about their future economic prospects, mainly as a result of global market developments and trade.

Copa and Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said “Although farmers in seven out of 10 Member States were more positive about their economic situation in 2017, mainly as a result of better prices for some commodities, especially dairy, the survey reveals that many farmers have serious concerns about future prospects”.

This is fueled by uncertainty about global agricultural markets and also trade, especially Brexit. Farmers are worried about the negative economic impact Brexit could have on key economic factors like demand, investment, the exchange rate and ultimately producer prices, the survey shows.

Irish exports to the UK, for example, already dipped by as much as €570m in 2016 due to the weakness of sterling after the UK voted to leave the EU. UK farmers are also affected by the uncertainty caused by Brexit in the future. This is having a serious impact on farmers livelihoods, they said.

“Many farmers are also still facing difficulties with Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) implementation and red tape under the CAP. The recent weather events that affected some production sectors last year, especially the arable crops and wine sectors, was also a cause for concern," he added.

The Copa and Cogeca confidence index is calculated twice yearly on the basis of the results of national survey carried out amongst over 8,000 farmers across 10 Member States.

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