Verona -- The convention organised by VeronaFiere and Unima, in collaboration with Ceettar, focused on agricultural mechanisation companies, agricultural services and new market technologies. Aproniano Tassinari (Unima): 'In recent years, the category has become more important.' Gérard Napias (Ceettar): 'We must keep an eye on unfair competition.' De Castro responds: 'We are ready to define the legal framework at EU level.'
'Agro-engineering companies are the main source of technological innovation for European agriculture. And there's more: sub-contractors are actually the only entrepreneurial category capable of ensuring the competitiveness of the primary sector on markets.'
This is how the President of the Agriculture and Rural Development Commission of the European Parliament, Paolo De Castro, answered European sub-contractors who met yesterday in the course of an international one-day event organised by VeronaFiere in collaboration with Unima (National Union of agricultural mechanisation companies, member of Confindustria) and Ceettar, the European confederation of agricultural mechanisation companies.
The main topic at this international event, that was attended by more than 200 category representatives from 15 countries in the European Union, was 'The role of agro-engineering in European rural development'. The topic was discussed at length by De Castro, who was beforehand given an official document by the European Sub-Contractors Federation (Ceettar).
'The times are by now ripe,' said the number one of the Parliamentary Agriculture Commission.. 'We must work together to reach an EU standard that harmonises the status of all European sub-contractors by defining the legal framework.'
This need is shared by agro-engineering representatives. Not the least to avoid, as the president of Ceettar, Gérard Napias, pointed out, 'the phenomenon of unfair competition, that in certain cases risks pushing sub-contractors off the market'. In fact, according to Napias, 'the key role of agricultural mechanisation companies only reveals its potential when it can rely on correct business competitiveness and the offering of appropriate services at competitive prices'.
Facts and figures at a European level, moreover, outline a category 'constantly in the avant-garde, numerically important and experiencing continual evolution', as highlighted by the Vice-President of Ceettar, Klaus Pentzlin, the reference person for German sub-contractors.
'There are more than 84 thousand agro-engineering operators in Europe,' said Michael Pielke, a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Commission, 'generating allied employment for 450 thousand people. This means that the European Union, through its institutional tools, should dedicate the right attention to a fundamental field for agricultural activity.'
Detailed market analysis of agricultural machinery and the possible responses to the agricultural and agro-engineering field was presented by Gastone Trajtenberg, the new director general of John Deere Italia.
European sub-contractors are increasingly projected towards multi-functional company management and are in the forefront as regards new market approaches and strategies. 'The potential of agro-engineering operators is under-exploited,' emphasised Aproniano Tassinari, President of Unima. The new challenges, in short, leave room not only to land processing services but also to agro-energy, waste water management and environmental protection segments. In recent years, the category has exponentially increased its importance, to the extent of creating a very strong bond with agriculture. This is why the Union – and above all Italy and all other individual EU countries - now place increasing attention on the category, supporting its role and acknowledging its merits.'