CEMA and EPBA launch joint effort to aid bee-friendly farming practices through training and innovation
Brussels, 7 April 2014 – CEMA and EPBA have decided to explore opportunities for cooperation in training and innovation, with the aim of promoting the deployment and development of technical innovations that support bee-friendly farming practices.
The European Professional Beekeepers Association (EPBA) welcomes the chance to explore with the European Agricultural Machinery Association (CEMA) ways to share best practices and leverage new technologies that enable farmers to minimize the impact of farming operations on honeybees and other pollinators.
Both organizations will join forces to identify opportunities to promote bee-friendly farming methods and will recognize exemplary progress through an innovation award.
Both organizations agree that precision farming holds the promise to reduce the environmental footprint of agricultural production. For this reason, both organisations will provide training materials on how to use state-of-the-art agricultural machinery in beefriendly farming systems and to raise awareness of new technologies as they become available. In addition, CEMA and EPBA will aim to identify specifc areas in which innovation could further help to reduce pressure on bees.
Such areas may include minimizing pesticide use through more precise application technologies, the reduction of bee losses with the help of new mowing and harvesting techniques in certain crops, or the uptake of more advanced and precisely targeted weed and pest control measures.
CEMA and EPBA will also present this initiative to the European Commission's Directorate General for Research in order to explore synergies between funding directed towards research on bee health and research on precision farming, which have not been connected until now.
"CEMA is keenly aware of the need to protect pollinators in agriculture", said Gilles Dryancour, President of CEMA. "Our members are investing in research and development for the future of agriculture. Without any doubt, the future of agriculture depends on bees' health".
"The farm equipment manufacturers have already made a signifcant investment in precision farming and continue to innovate not only towards higher efciency", said Walter Haefeker, President of EPBA. "CEMA shows that innovation in agriculture is not limited to chemistry and biotechnology. In fact, the greatest contribution for a more sustainable future may very well come from members of CEMA leveraging the rapid technological advances to precisely target actions required to protect and cultivate crops."
About CEMA – European Agricultural Machinery
CEMA is the association representing the European agricultural machinery industry. With 10 national member associations, the CEMA network represents both large multinational companies as well as the numerous European SMEs active in this sector.
CEMA represents more than 4,500 manufacturers, generating an aggregated annual turnover of more than EUR 26 billion. 135,000 people are directly employed in the sector, with a further 125,000 people working in distribution and maintenance.
Dr Ulrich Adam
CEMA - European Agricultural Machinery
About EPBA – European Professional Beekeepers Association
The European Professional Beekeepers Association (EPBA) is an association of beekeeping organisations of EU member states. With 15 national member associations, the EPBA represents most of the professional and semiprofessional beekeepers in Europe. EPBA also accepts members from affiliated non-EU countries.
The members of EPBA represent more than 200,000 beekeeping operations with approximately 6 million colonies.
EPBA – European Professional Beekeepers Association
EPBA Meeting at APIMONDIA in Kiew 2013
Phil McCabe from Ireland is the Commissioner responsible for the the European continent for Apimondia. He was kind enough to agree to hold a joint EPBA / Apimondia Europe Meeting during the the Congress in Kiev.
For this purpose the APIMONDIA executive meeting room was made available to us.
EPBA did become a member of APIMONDIA two years ago and is now works very closely with this world organization.
Phil McCabe welcomed the the delegations present and emphasized the excellent cooperation with EPBA . Members of the EPBA
were present from France (SNA and UNAF) , Germany ( DBIB ), Greece ( OMME ), Cyprus, Sweden , Poland ( PZP ), Hungary ( OMSE ), Austria (ÖEIB), Finnland, Estonia and Ireland
as the newest member. As guests were invited Etienne Bruneau (President of the COPA/COGECA Working Group on Honey) from Belgium and Francesco Panella (BEE LIFE European Beekeeping Coordination ) from Italy.
Also present were representatives from the Slovak Beekeeping Association, who applied for membership in EPBA.
During Apimondia we also received an application for membership from the Turkish beekeepers association. In our next general membership meeting we will vote on accepting the new members.
The Swedish delegation introduced its newly elected chairman of the board of the Swedish Beekeepers Association, Thomas Dahl.
EPBA President, Walter Haefeker reported briefly on his activities in Brussels and the pending issues and required actions.
The companies BASF and Syngenta have filed a lawsuit at the the European Court of Justice against the EU Commission in an effort to challenge the neonic ban, which is currently on track to come into force.
A number of NGOs now intend to join the case in support if the commission. Walter Haefeker proposed to investigate, if EPBA and or other beekeeping organizations should join the case as well in order to at least get access to the legal arguments presented by Bayer and Syngenta.
The present EPBA delegations were in favor of this approach.
EPBA General Manager Karl-Rainer Koch informed the about EPBA becoming a founding member of the now officially registered "BEE LIFE" - European Beekeeping Coordination.
2nd European Congress BEECOME in Belgium
The next important item discussed was the 2nd European Congress BEECOME in Belgium. It will take place from 9 - 11 November in Louvain-la-Neuve, which is located south-west of Brussels.
Cari is the organizer of BEECOME and is at the same time celebrating its 30 - year anniversary.
EPBA is going to be represented with a booth and is supporting the organizers by among other things hosting a round table discussion on biofuels and beekeeping.
General Meeting EPBA 2014 26. + 27. of february 2014
The time and place for the next Annual General Meeting EPBA was discussed and we are greatful, that the Polish Beekeepers Association invited us to Poland
( Pszccla Wola ) for the 26 + 27 February 2014.
Links: Beecome Congress: http://www.beecome.eu
2014 EPBA Meeting location: http://www.pszczelawola.edu.pl
The European Professional Beekeepers Association (EPBA) is an association of beekeeping organisations of EU member states. There are no individual memberships. The present and pending member organisations represent most of the professional and semi-professional beekeepers in Europe. Membership has been applied for from other organisations, from affiliated non-EU countries.
The organisation is funded by annual membership dues and functions through membership representatives voluntering their time.
EPBA has sent delegates to EU conferences and has met with representsatives of the EU commission (DG-Agri and DG-Environment).