Document: CEMA_2020_03_13_-_Position_Farm_to_Fork_-.pdf

Position Paper

As the European agricultural machinery industry association, CEMA represents over 4,500 manufacturers, both large multinational companies and European small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”), through 11 national member associations. CEMA members produce more than 450 different machine types and generate an aggregated turnover of more than EUR 28 billion. 135,000 people are directly employed in the sector, with a further 125,000 people working in distribution and maintenance of these equipment without which modern farming would not be possible.

CEMA recognizes the relevance of the forthcoming Farm to Fork Strategy for the agri-food sector in general and for the agricultural equipment industry more particularly, with specific actions to reach the ambitious objectives put forward by the EU Green Deal.

Advanced machinery and solutions are key to support sustainable farming and help farmers from farms of all sizes and all types to reach a high-level of environmental protection and productive agriculture.    

CEMA calls on the European Commission to prioritize the uptake of precision agriculture and digital farming technologies as part of the solution to achieve a more sustainable agriculture in Europe.

  • Our industry creates the equipment that meets Europe’s environmental advanced standards, including engine emissions and EU regulations which are among the most demanding in the world since very few farmers across the globe face the same regulatory constraints.
  • Our industry develops precision agriculture technologies that enable farmers to significantly reduce the impact of inputs while optimizing their farming practices.
  • Our industry creates the digital solutions to harness the potential of data, automation, robotization, autonomous vehicles, digital connectivity and artificial intelligence.

In order to reach the farm to fork strategy goals, EU farmers will need to have enough investment capacity through a strong CAP budget and reach a new level of professional skills. For example, further development of efficient organic farming will require a significant increase in the use of mechanical weeding technologies to replace the crop protection techniques currently in use with conventional farming.  

The Farm to Fork Strategy has pre-announced specific targets regarding the reduction of inputs used in European farming practices or the promotion of specific farming approaches. Considering the very significant economic impact these unprecedented targets might have on EU farmers, a transition scheme should be carefully designed and financially supported with adequate means. Dedicated measures should also be planned to facilitate the access to agronomic advice services. In this view, CEMA strongly advocates to perform specific and thorough impact assessments to better anticipate environmental, social and economic likely consequences of any potential new environmental target and associated legislation across the European agri-food sector.

CEMA stands ready to further contribute as a core stakeholder of the forthcoming Farm to Fork strategy which, along with many other initiatives announced by the European Commission, will contribute to the success of the European Green Deal.