The farmers and horticulturists in Europe will have big changes as well as challenges, according to the new Copa president. "We are at the verge of the implementation of the new common agricultural policy (CAP) for the next six years. There are also negotiations under way between the European Union and the United States about the trade of agricultural products. The interests of farmers and horticulturists in Europe are at stake. In the future a lot will be expected of farmers in the area of environment, animal welfare, use of water and energy, at the same time that we're trying to become economically healthy. This will take input from all of us."
The biggest challenge for him personally is to appear as strong as possible as European farmers among the decision makers in Brussels, despite the big differences in agriculture in the various EU countries as far as knowledge, sustainability and techniques are concerned. "The Dutch agriculture and horticulture is far ahead in most aspects. This way I can represent the role of a figurehead quite well."