High-Level Group on Agro-food adopts Roadmap for actions
The members of the High-Level Group on Agro-food competitiveness meeting at the European Commission agreed on the 6th July the Roadmap of actions to improve the industry’s competitiveness.
EFFAT General-Secretary, Harald Wiedenhofer concluded that “this process is a milestone and an example of good practice and collaboration between the stakeholders of the agro-food industry. Even though not all the 30 recommendations are easy to implement, there is commitment from everybody involved. The High-Level Group has also a good timing because of the economic crisis. Even if agro-food industry is not so much affected as others, still it is concerned. Many companies do feel the credit crunch and witness consumers changing their consumption behaviour.”
In the presence of Commissioners Günter Verheugen, Mariann Fischer Boel and Meglena Kuneva, the discussion was mainly focusing on the challenges of recommendations 13, 14, 15 and 16 (see annex), which emphasise the need to facilitate access of agro-food Small Medium Sized Enterprises to global markets, improve the understanding and knowledge of price transmission as well as of contractual arrangements along the food supply chain, and last but not least the European Commission to review the potential anticompetitive practices in the food chain.
Aspects such as the set-up of a social dialogue in the agro-food industry, improve attractiveness of jobs, enhance employability, training and life-long learning make the subject of the recommendations and roadmap as concrete steps to strengthen competitiveness.
Commissioner Verheugen announced that the mandate of the HLG shall be prolonged and the Sherpas will meet three times per year and asses the results and the follow-up. The Swedish presidency will submit the recommendations and roadmap on the Competitiveness and Agricultural Council agenda. A next meeting of the HLG will take place probably in the first half of 2010.
See the Roadmap annexed and find some more facts about this HLG here, on EFFAT's page inside this website.
Official Commission website: