February 2019: General Assembly of ERPA in Namur
The General Assembly of ERPA was held in Namur (Belgium) on February 7. This meeting was an opportunity to exchange constructively with representatives of the European institutions on the theme: "Rural poultry and the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP): challenges and opportunities".
José Renard, Head of cabinet of the Walloon Minister of Agriculture, presented Wallonia's strategic plan for the development of alternative poultry. Then the participants got acquainted with the construction of the next CAP, through presentations by Michel Dantin (MEP), Brigitte Misonne from the European Commission (EC) and Philippe Musquar from the Secretariat of the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.
The participants agreed that the productions supported by ERPA (free range poultry, quality signs, family farms) are in line with the European consumers' expectations and the objectives of the future CAP, such as animal welfare, preservation of the environment or the revitalization of rural areas...
These elements were discussed during a round table meeting with Karine Gloanec Maurin (MEP), Brigitte Misonne (EC), David El Mechali (Permanent Representation of France to the EU), José Renard (Head of cabinet of the Walloon Minister of Agriculture), Isabelle Jaumotte (Walloon Federation of Agriculture) and Eric Cachan (ERPA representative and Label Rouge poultry farmer in France).
The exchanges have shown that it will certainly be possible to support rural poultry better in the future CAP, for example through sectoral interventions, eco-schemes, or rural development grants.
Carlos Terraz, President of ERPA concluded with these words: "These funds to rural poultry farmers would promote the revitalization of rural areas concretely, as well as the development of alternative production; this would be a strong commitment on behalf of Europe towards the producers and the citizens."
February 2018: General Assembly of ERPA in Madrid
The General Assembly of ERPA on 9th February 2018 in Madrid, gathered about 90 people, including a large number of ERPA‘s members and many Spaniards interested in the topics discussed this day. This day was particularly the occasion:
For ERPA to present its activity report, and in particular its work on biosecurity in rural poultry farming (download the sheets).
For AVIALTER and ANDA to present their new brand that will be applied to free range eggs, in accordance with strict specifications guaranteeing animal welfare (breeding on 1 ground, checking the effective exit of hens...). This is an innovation in Spain, the first time that an association for the defense of animal welfare has agreed to put its logo on this way.
- For EUROGROUP FOR ANIMALS to present its European action to promote the animal welfare of chickens in Europe: their objective is essentially to advance standard productions. Elena Nalon told ERPA members: "You have a treasure in your hands" regarding sustainability, respect for animal welfare and slow growth of rural poultry.
If you want to obtain the presentations, please ask us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
February 2017: General Assembly of ERPA in Brussels
On 10th February 2017, the General Assembly of ERPA took place in Brussels. The association was celebrating its 10 years of existence.
Two major themes were on the agenda:
• ERPA positions papers: an exchange with representatives of the Commission on the impact of European regulation on rural poultry farming.
• Avian Influenza in Europe.
During this GA, full of discussions, ERPA presented its work on the comparison of biosecurity measures in rural poultry, in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium. The aim of ERPA was to define in brochures homogeneous measures at the European level, to be recommended to all the different actors of European poultry sectors.
February 2016: General Assembly of ERPA in Bucharest
The event, hosted by AGROLAND, brought together all the members of ERPA, as well as Tibor Szucs, FAO representative and representatives of Romania: Marian Pinţur, General Secretary of ANSVSA (Romanian National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority) and Veronica Tulpan of Vier Pfoten România.
The various interventions at the GA showed the importance of rural poultry in Europe. Rural poultry farming is already an important source of income for family farms in Western and Southern Europe and is becoming an important sector in Eastern Europe.
"Rural poultry is an important economic reality that must be taken into account, it is not just traditional traditions" said the President of ERPA.
Thus in Europe, there are at least 2.5 million breeders for the production of rural poultry, allowing the sale of more than 400 million chicks per year, 10 million laying hens, 2.5 million turkeys, 3 million ducks and geese and 2.5 million guinea fowls. According to estimates made by ERPA, which hopes to be able to refine these data soon with the help of the European Commission, the largest European producer of colored chickens is France with 153 million chickens/year, followed by Italy with 45 million/year, Portugal with 33 million/year, Spain and Hungary with 30 million/year, Greece with 7.5 million/year and Belgium with 3 million/year. In Romania, where there are still few professional rural poultry farms, AGROLAND has initiated a support program for farmers who want to enter the system.
ANSVSA promises to help Romanian rural poultry farmers.
In Romania, the rural poultry farming is in the early stages of its development, a reason why there is no specific legislation in this field. However, "rural poultry productionhas been practiced for a long time in Romania, since about 55% of the population lives in rural areas", said Marian Pinţur, who added that for those who live in the countryside, this activity could represent an important source of income. Marian Pinţur promised to fully support to this type of rearing.
February 2015: General Assembly of ERPA in Zaragoza
This meeting brought together many of European and Spanish rural poultry producers. It was an interesting opportunity to make a state of play of 8 years of ERPA activities and to discuss the current challenges of rural poultry farming, in the presence of the European Parliamentarian Esther Herranz-Garcia, the European Commission representative Maria Pittman and representatives of the Spanish administration.
February 2013: General Assembly of ERPA in Budapest
ERPA organized a round table on 7th February 2013, during its General Assembly on the theme: « The importance of rural poultry for biodiversity ».
Two professors, one Italian, Cesare Castellini, from Perugia’s Agriculture University, and the other Hungarian, Andras Hidas, from Szent Istvan University, were agreed in demonstrating the major role of coloured rural poultry breeds in preserving biodiversity.
This can be said because intensive systems of production no longer use more than a small number of lines selected on the basis of performance. Conversely, coloured strains are well suited to extensive environments and include numerous lines.
ERPA members received a warm welcome from the company Tetra Babolna on 6th February. These two days also allowed the members to take stock of the ERPA activities after six years of existence.
February 2012: General Assembly of ERPA in Brussels
On first February 2012, ERPA organized a metting with several MEPs of the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament, including Marc Tarabella Rapporteur of the Milk Package and Iratxe Garcia Perez Rapporteur of the Quality Package, followed by a visit by of the Parliament.
On 2nd February, during the General Assembly, a round table was attended by Michael Erhart, Head of the Quality Policy Unit at DG AGRI, Andrea Gavinelli, Head of the Animal Welfare Unit at DG SANCO and Véronique Schmit from Eurogroup for animals on the theme: «How to promote rural poultry production in Europe? Indication of the type of farming, local / direct sales, support for small farms? »