The European agricultural workforce will decrease by 28% between 2017 and 2030, while an increase in EU agricultural income is expected. However, income per worker is expected to increase slightly by 1.1%, compared to the 2015-2017 average. These are some of the conclusions of the EU Agricultural Outlook Report 2017-2030, published on December 18 by the European Commission.

According to the report, the agricultural labor force will be reduced by 3.2% on average per year, reaching 6.6 million in 2030. This decrease will be driven by structural changes within the EU agri-food industry, but also because job opportunities are expected in other sectors. Rural areas already face difficulties in creating attractive jobs in general, pushing migration towards urban centers.

Likewise, it is expected that the structural changes in European agriculture continue with greater investments in technology. For example, investment in precision agriculture and digital agriculture is expected to increase significantly. However, these types of investments are costly and will have a domino effect on the labor market in various ways, for example, by requiring workers to have a greater knowledge of the technology or, ultimately, to reduce the need to work with them. agricultural work.

Among the other potential influences on agricultural income in this period highlighted in the report, investments are increasing in key areas such as environmental measures or the use of more efficient irrigation systems. However, a period of relatively low oil prices and the recovery of the economy are expected to boost agricultural investments, according to the report.

In addition to these investments, costs are also expected to increase by 2.5% per year between 2017 and 2030, adding up to 30% during the period. Costs such as energy and fertilizers will increase by 3% until 2030, compared to the 2015-2017 average, while food costs, which are currently low due to low cereal prices, are also expected to increase in the coming years. Agricultural services, as well as depreciation, should increase by 2030, and agriculture will become increasingly intensive in capital and services.

The EU agricultural outlook report for 2017-2020, which can be seen below in its English version, offers more detailed information on this subject, as well as a perspective of EU agricultural markets, such as arable crops, the meat and dairy sector, and the fruit and vegetables sector.

Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias participated on December 18 and 19 in the third edition of the Conference on the Agricultural Outlook of the EU 2017, promoted by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Phil Hogan. The discussions focused, on the one hand, on the EC proposal on how the new CAP should be – a proposal recently presented – and on the other, on analyzing the perspectives of the different EU agricultural markets by 2030.

During two days and on the initiative of the European Commission, this conference brought together representatives of European organizations, governments and institutions, academics, experts and members of civil society, to discuss the most relevant issues of the European Union’s agricultural sector and its market prospects in the short and medium term, publishing a report on these prospects for each of the main markets until 2030.

The first day, the debate focused on the modernization and simplification of the CAP, with the presentation of the Commission’s proposals by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Phil Hogan and the Budget Commissioner, Günther Oettinger. The second day examined the latest outlook reports on the EU’s dairy, meat and agricultural markets over the next 10 years, which has been prepared with the support of the Joint Research Center (JRC) and analyzed by a panel of experts It is a report that is prepared throughout the year and in whose process Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias de España is one of the few privileged organizations to participate.

The director of Livestock of Agro-alimentary Cooperatives of Spain, Fernando de Antonio, participated in this Conference, in the block that was devoted to analyzing the future perspectives of the dairy sector. De Antonio presented three success stories of the dairy sector in Spain: CLUN, COVAP and Central Lechera Asturiana, three cooperatives that have managed, through different strategies, to increase the added value of their partners’ dairy production.

For his part, the Commissioner of Budgets, Günther Oettinger, stressed during the Conference that he is in favor of the CAP and that the budget is not reduced, but it is not in his hand but “in that of the Heads of State, who will have to decide on what to do with the hole of 14,000 million euros per year that will leave the Brexit post 2020 “. He suggested that to solve 50% of this hole, he would propose to increase the contributions of the Member States and the other 50% reductions in spending, but he did not specify where specifically. He also pointed out that he is against the co-financing of direct payments. The Commission’s proposal on Post-2020 Budgets will be in May 2018.


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