EU leaders from the European Farmers’ Organisation Copa elected Gerd Sonnleitner as the new President for the period 2011 – 2013. He will succeed Padraig Walshe whose term-inoffice has expired.
Mr Sonnleitner has been President of Deutscher Bauernverband (DBV) since 1997 and was first Vice-President of Copa from 2007 – 2011. He was also Copa President over the period 2001 – 2003. He runs a 100 ha farm and holds a number of other key positions in agricultural organisations, including chairman of the board of directors of Germany’s agricultural mortgage bank.
Xavier Beulin (Fnsea – Fr); John Bryan (IFA – Ie); Albert Jan Maat (LTO – NL); Juha Marttila (MTK – FI); Lorenzo Ramos (UPA – ES); Wiktor Szmulewicz (KRIR – Pl) were elected as Copa Vice-Presidents over this period.
Xavier Beulin is President of the French Farmers Union Fnsea and runs a mixed arable crops and dairy farm. Juha Marttila is President of the Finnish Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners as well as a dairy farmer since 2001. Lorenzo Ramos is Secretary-General of the Spanish Farmers Union “Unión de Pequeños Agricultores y Ganaderos” (UPA) as well as being a fruit and flower grower. Albert Jan Maat has been President of the Dutch Farmers Union LTO since 2007 and was Vice-President of European Parliament Agriculture Committee before then. John Bryan is currently President of the Irish Farmers Association IFA and runs an intensive beef suckler farm in Inistioge, Co Kilkenny. Wiktor Szmulewicz is President of the Polish National Council of Agricultural Chambers KRIR and runs an 80 ha dairy farm.
Source: Copa Cogeca