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Brussels Briefing 53: Lotta Folkesson '' Best practices and successes of women farmers in Europe ''

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The Brussels Policy Briefing n. 53 on ”The next generation of farmers: successes and new opportunities” took place on 20th November 2018 (ACP Secretariat). It was co-organised by CTA, the European Commission (DG Devco and DG Agri), the ACP Secretariat and CONCORD.

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Brussels Briefing 53: Lotta Folkesson '' Best practices and successes of women farmers in Europe ''

  1. 1. Best practices and successes of women farmers in Europe Lotta Folkesson Chair of the Women’s Committee of Copa November 2018
  2. 2. Copa-Cogeca | The voice of European farmers and their cooperatives | 2 Copa Women’s Committee Composition • Women farmers, farmers’ wives, family member assistants, farmers’ daughters and delegates of Copa member organisations. • Established in 1968 • 3 meetings per year
  3. 3. Copa-Cogeca | The voice of European farmers and their cooperatives | 3 Copa Women’s Committee Objectives  To represent women in agriculture at the European level.  To analyse the problems faced by women in rural areas and to propose appropriate solutions.  To maintain regular contacts with the European Commission (DG Agri, DG Empl, DG Just), the European Parliament and with the Economic and Social Committee.  To promote gender equality policies together with other stakeholders (e.g. European Women’s Lobby, Women Entrepreneurship Platform, European Network for Rural Development)
  4. 4. Copa Women’s Committee 6 Challenges Labour market Proportion of women working in agriculture is much smaller than their share of the total working population (35.1% against 45.9%). Around of 30% of the EU farm managers are women. Skills Women still generally perform low skilled jobs in agriculture, but the young and skilled women are participating more and more into the agribusiness management. Improving women farmers’ skills through lifelong learning and vocational training as well as encourage women entrepreneurial skills will lift their commitment to farming. Copa-Cogeca | The voice of European farmers and their cooperatives | 4
  5. 5. Copa Women’s Committee 6 Challenges Access to credit and finance Women will only grow their business if family obligations permit them to work long hours and have a certainty of success. Women are perceived as too cautious, but take calculated risks. Men are more optimistic about the profitability but women seem to be more realistic. As a result, women rarely default when it comes to reimbursing their loans. Women’s ideas for innovation are as marketable as men’s, but… these ideas are not recognized by predominantly male stakeholders. Networking Integration of women farmers into the decision-making bodies at local, regional and national level. Share of information on agriculture and social policies is also essential. Copa-Cogeca | The voice of European farmers and their cooperatives | 5
  6. 6. Copa Women’s Committee 6 challenges Infrastructures Better facilities and services for everyday life in rural areas (e.g. childcare, elderly care, health care or schools) would improve the living standards in rural areas and encourage women’s participation in the labour market. Internet access: High-speed broadband is essential to transform farming. Good access to internet will also allow farmers to be in direct contact with their consumers, to have access to networking platforms, to on-line information and to help to overcome rural areas’ isolation. Gender Equality policies Support work-life balances initiatives or the recognition of the assisting spouses status, for example. Copa-Cogeca | The voice of European farmers and their cooperatives | 6
  7. 7. Copa Women’s Committee Stories of success 5th Edition of the Innovation Award for Women Farmers Copa introduced this award to shine a light on the central role of women in farming and to encourge women’ entrepreneurship. 35 applications from across EU were received in 2018 5 best projects Copa-Cogeca | The voice of European farmers and their cooperatives | 7
  8. 8. Copa Women’s Committee Upcoming activities Lobbying for gender equality in the future CAP Document reference in AI: CF(18)5542 Copa-Cogeca | The voice of European farmers and their cooperatives | 8
  9. 9. Copa Women’s Committee Upcoming activities Prepare the Women’s Committee participation in the UN/ Committee on the Status of Women 2019 Priority theme: Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infra- structure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Review theme: Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable Development. In 2018 the priority theme was Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls. The Women’s Committee lobbied the Member States, the European Commission, the Council and Ambassadors in UN. We received the support from the World Farmers Organization. A delegation of the Women’s Committee participated in the UN/CSW formal meetings as well as in side and parallel events organized during the CSW 2018. Copa-Cogeca | The voice of European farmers and their cooperatives | 9
  10. 10. Copa Women’s Committee Visit us at: general.affairs@copa-cogeca.eu Thank you! Copa-Cogeca | The voice of European farmers and their cooperatives | 10

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