Speaking at the 41st ICOS National conference in Cork, President Magnusson stressed that farmers and their cooperatives are facing increasing challenges ranging from Brexit, climate change, market volatility in a competitive marketplace. “Cooperatives are an important tool to help farmers improve their market position. They help farmers shoulder the burden of excess regulation and red tape”, added Magnusson. Their structure is unique as they are owned by their farmer members who get a share of the profits.
Mr Magnusson underlined the need to prioritize them in upcoming legislation on the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and on the food chain due out this year to enable farmers to thrive. “We will also further discuss in our Task Force potential solutions to the challenges for cooperative businesses and farmers posed by Brexit. EU agri-cooperatives with a transnational dimension and UK members will be severely affected both legally, commercially and economically as a result of Brexit. Serious consideration must be given to their concerns ”, said Magnusson.
Cogeca is looking to maintain the closest possible trading relationship with the UK and to make sure that farmers and their cooperatives do not pay the price of Brexit.
Mr Magnusson is from the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF) and farms a mixed dairy farm with forestry in Sweden and is a member and board member of Lantmännen cooperative group.