Agriculture is an important economic sector in EU. It produces around 1.5% of the total EU output and employs around 10 million people. But like in many other sectors the agricultural workforce has been declining.
Agriculture is of vital importance for all EU society since it ensures food security to all EU inhabitants. It also has a positive impact on the environment and to the social cohesion of rural areas.
The creation of jobs and the potential of the economic progress of this sector is very relevant for GEOPA-COPA members. Moreover, better productivity and growth will help Member States’ resilience to economic shocks.
Thereby, GEOPA-COPA proposes to thoroughly analyse the aspects of the agriculture labour shortage to deliver sustainable solutions for this challenge through best practices followed across EU Member States.
This sector differs from other economic sectors because by its very nature it’s highly seasonal and it’s becoming more and more difficult to recruit labour force. Furthermore, statistics show that small farms are gradually being replaced by bigger ones and workforce is extremely needed. Unfilled positions lead to delays in the production process, or even to loss of production, which is a threaten to the competitiveness of the sector.
The results of the analysis will help the EU Member States with innovative ideas to promote and create employment in the agriculture sector. Moreover, this innovative tool is supported by EFFAT and we wish to use it to take informed decisions at social dialogue level and possibly to reach agreements.
Workers and employers and national social partners will also be able to use it in their daily lives, promoting fair competition, better working conditions, professional mobility and social inclusion. This tool can also be used by intra-sectoral social partners, EU institutions, ILO, OECD to better understand the challenges and solutions for the farming community.