The XV general assembly of the COAG agrarian organization elected Miguel Padilla, an agrarian unionist from Murcia, as their new general secretary in replacement of Miguel Blanco.
Padilla, who was the president of COAG-Rural Initiative (COAG-IR) in the Region of Murcia, takes the reins of the agrarian union at a time when the primary sector faces the final stages to negotiate the National Strategic Plan of the upcoming Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) program. Blanco, who was the General Secretariat of COAG since 2012, leaves agrarian unionism after 38 years in which he has held different positions.
The rest of the state leadership was also renewed for the next four years.
The new general secretary of COAG highlighted in his speech the importance of the professional and social model of agriculture and promised to defend it tooth and nail. One of the steps to achieve this, he said, is having a statute for professional and social agriculture that reflects how essential the incorporation of young people is to this model.
The current reform of the CAP does not defend this model, he said. "It only considers active or genuine farmers as producers and that's no good."
He also expressed concern about the eco-schemes because, according to him, they are not incentives for production and will penalize the income of producers.
COAG also wants compliance with the reform of the Food Chain Law; a rule that he considers is a step forward, but not the definitive solution.
In his speech, Padilla has asked to stop the unfair competition of products imported from third countries. He also complained about the lack of profitability in the field, caused by the low prices at origin and the suffocating costs producers have to pay, and the European 'From farm to table' strategy, which he says will restrict agricultural practices.
His organization will also fight to seek improvements in the insurance lines, the non-criminalization of the primary sector, and to continue with the 'unity of action' in coordination with the other agrarian organizations.
The new executive also wants to boost gender equality. In fact, he will create a commission in this regard to recognize the visibility of women in the agrarian reality. Padilla thanked Blanco for his work, honesty, and integrity.