Ramon Armengol, the representative of the Spanish Agricultural Food Cooperatives, was elected on Thursday, November 28, in Brussels, as the president of the Confederation of Agricultural Food Cooperatives of the European Union (Cogeca), the largest community agricultural food organization next to COPA (the professional agricultural organizations of the European Union), which brings together 22,000 entities and 7 million members.
According to a statement by the Cooperatives, Armengol will hold the position for three years. The election took place during the Presidium, the highest body in Cogeca, of which Armengol was vice president.
The new president of Cogeca has been a rancher for more than forty years, takes care of a closed-cycle pig farm in Lleida with his son and eight workers, and is a member of Cooperativa D'Ivars, which is dedicated to the production and marketing of cereals, feed, pork, and beef, and has more than 3,600 members and a turnover of more than 200 million euros. Armengol is a member of the Governing Council of the Federation of Agricultural Food Cooperatives of Catalonia (FCAC) and the Agricultural Food Cooperatives of Spain, where he is the president of the Pork Sector Council.
"I will work from Cogeca to make the work of the agricultural food cooperatives in the European Union more visible; as these are companies whose main mission is to improve the profitability of their farming partners," he said in his speech in Brussels.
“These companies are essential in rural territories because they generate wealth and employment, reduce depopulation, and facilitate the incorporation of young people into the sector; they capture the added value of their partners' products making them more competitive and allowing them to produce more efficiently, innovating, and accessing other markets,” he stated. According to Armengol, it would be impossible to achieve this independently.
According to the European Commission, he said, "farmers and ranchers get better prices in the EU countries where cooperatives have greater weight, such as Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, or Germany."
Armengol said that some of the aspects that will affect his new position include the promotion of instruments to integrate cooperatives, and the challenges they will face, such as negotiation of the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the Green Pact (Green Deal) regarding carbon emissions, or the From Farm to Table strategy, which is committed to a holistic approach to the entire value chain.
In addition, Armengol will have to voice Cogeca's position regarding other issues, such as the uncertainties there are with the budget, the Brexit, and the international trade situation.