Agricultural machinery, construction and handling equipment: what is the best way out of the crisis?
The gist of the argument
The construction and agricultural machinery industries in Europe have been particularly badly hit by the crisis, which has coincided with a significant shift in worldwide demand. Nonetheless, the sector is a component of a highly competitive, technologically advanced industry.
However, a number of initiatives at the EU level are required to ensure the sector’s long-term viability and competitiveness, as well as to avoid EU manufacturing overcapacity in the long run:
• a level playing field inside Europe, thanks to competent market supervision: a regulatory framework that does not hinder producers’ freedom to innovate and build equipment to meet customers’ needs;
• product legislation and trade policy that ensures unfettered access to global markets;
• European legislation that recognizes the European markets’ dwindling role. Because the global market is gradually shifting to South America and Asia, all required measures, such as reducing red tape and encouraging industry-led voluntary initiatives, should be considered in order to keep European businesses’ production sites in the EU.
In what follows, the document identifies key economic and social issues for the agricultural machinery sector in order to provide recommendations for achieving sustainable growth in spite of tough competition from low-cost producers across the globe. The main subject covered by this policy paper is: Agricultural machines, construction and handling equipment review of policy and research agenda In addition to the above-mentioned issues, the sector is facing additional pressures on multiple fronts due to their global interconnectedness.
Within this context, ensuring quality of products at European level should be given a central role since it takes more time but also improves product performance and reduces health and safety risks, which are the main issues for professionals in doubt. In terms of climate policy and environmental protection, farmers will continue to invest more in European agricultural machinery manufacturers’ equipment as it is usually high-quality but also cost-effective on an energy efficiency scale.
Considering that most innovations come from smaller and newer European companies, the document also provides a specific recommendation for “low-risk” innovation policy with regard to technology transfer; efficiency of processes in relation to food chain management issues that include several disciplines such as animal welfare (livestock), plant breeding, processing, transportation and safety
The agricultural machinery sector is the second largest industrial producer in Germany, with nearly million EUR of sales on its own or through intermediary. In 2016, this industry employed more than 35 000 people around the EU and generated almost eleven billion EUR in revenue by adding up to three per cent to
the German GDP.