Three major agricultural machinery and contracting organisations in Europe have joined together to support the fight against Covid-19.
The collective believe that having free access to agricultural parts and machinery is essential in order to maintain the supply of food across the continent. They stated “Simply put, if farmers do not have access to ordered equipment, services and spare parts, their work, and therefore production capabilities will stop.”
“Our borders need to remain open for traffic and trade, and agricultural machinery and their spare parts/servicing must be eligible to green fast lanes. Express service parts deliveries must be considered a priority across the EU by express carriers. Governmental inspection of machines must happen when needed to get access to distribution.”
“Servicing and maintenance to agricultural machinery by agricultural dealerships and mechanization companies must be guaranteed to continue on a 24/7 basis, especially in this seeding, planting and harvesting period.”
They believe the following should be made essential:
- Have continuous access to agricultural machinery, spare parts and components;
- Ensure an ‘open border” policy towards service technicians and international cross-border traffic for distribution of machinery, spare parts, and components;
- Designate the sector of agricultural dealerships and mechanization companies as a crucial and critical sector within the whole food production and supply-chain;
- Designate the profession of “technician/mechanic” as a critical one in order to maintain the production capacity;
- Provide clear information on how these critical workers can continue their job in a safe way.
They state that contractors are extremely important during this time, as they could be needed if a farmer contracts the virus and cannot carry out their duties on the farm.“Land-based contractors must be allowed to deliver the planned services and be hired for emergency solutions when the capabilities of the farmers are impacted under Covid-19.”
“Agriculture operates on the basis of seasons that cannot be ‘postponed’. This is the tillage, fertilizing, spraying and spring seeding and planting period. As the growing season for food production is starting and many agricultural machines are being delivered.”
“Livestock need to be fed and cared for daily and many other duties on-farm are critical at this time. We must do the utmost to safeguard the growth of food products and our food supply for next fall, winter and spring. Manufacturers, distributors and service companies of Agricultural machinery and contractors are committed to doing so.”