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Sectoral social dialogue - Agriculture

Social partners

Employees' organisations Employers' organisations

European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT)

Employers' Group of Agricultural Organisations in the EC (COPA-COGECA)

The Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee was set up in 1999.

This sector covers:

  • growing crops, fruits and vegetables
  • raising animals
  • landscape gardening
  • hunting
  • related agricultural and animal husbandry service activities.

In Europe, the agriculture sector employs some 12.2m people (6% of the EU workforce), in more than 7.3m agricultural businesses (2007). The majority of agricultural workers are self-employed, but the sector is also characterised by a high number of seasonal or casual workers.

The sector's major challenge is the global financial crisis which has contributed to price falls for many agricultural commodities and is expected to seriously affect the short term perspectives of the sector in the EU. Trade liberalisation discussions in the WTO have a direct impact on this sector and further restructuring is expected. Climate change is also a major concern.  

Focus areas

The Committee is currently focusing on:

  • consequences of the CAP for the future of employment
  • vocational training (Agripass –Eures)
  • the situation of seasonal workers
  • accident prevention, taking particular account of musculoskeletal disorders.

Activities and Meetings

Check the library entries for this sectoral social dialogue committee.

Achievements

  • Resolution to draw up an AGRIPASS CV (2007)
  • European agreement on the reduction of workers' exposure to the risk of work-related musculo-skeletal disorders in agriculture (2005)
  • Joint declaration on health and safety (2005)
  • European agreement on vocational training in agriculture (2002)

See also "European sectoral social dialogue – recent developments" (2010 brochure).  

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