Commission confirms members of Agricultural Markets Task Force

The European Commission has today formally confirmed the names of the experts who will participate in the new Agricultural Markets Task Force, ahead of the first meeting of this expert group taking place in Brussels tomorrow (13 January). Chaired by former Dutch Minister & University Professor Cees Veerman, the Task Force will consist of 12 experts, all of whom have considerable experience and expertise from different aspects of the food chain. With greater market orientation of EU policies and increasing trade liberalisation in recent years, the EU agriculture sector is no longer shielded from global developments in the food supply chain. The mandate for the Task Force is therefore to discuss relevant issues such as market transparency, access for farmers to financial instruments and futures markets to hedge price risks, options for arranging contractual relations within the chain and legal possibilities for organising farmers’ collective actions.  All of this is with a view to improving the position of farmers in the food chain. The Task Force will hold a number of meetings in the coming months, calling on relevant stakeholders to appear at the different sessions, as well as taking input from representatives from the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission. The aim is then for the Task Force to present a report in the autumn with its findings, which may include concrete recommendations for policy and legislative initiatives. Tomorrow’s kick-off meeting will concentrate on the issues to be covered and how the Task Force will proceed.