The European umbrella organization Copa-Cogeca unites dozens of agricultural associations and cooperatives. Boerenbond and its Walloon counterpart, FWA are Belgian members. Recently, the Belgian Horticultural Cooperatives Federation's (VBT) general secretary, Luc Vanoirbeek, was elected for the third time as Copa-Cogeca's fruit and vegetable working group's chairman. Italians Allesandro del Piaz and Nazarrio Battelli join him as vice-chairmen.
As such, Luc considers continued bridge building to be one of his most important tasks. Firstly, between the organizations and member states active in COPA Cogeca's functioning. He also finds it paramount to keep in active contact with European institutions to continue defending the fruit and vegetable sector's interests. Finally, Luc wants to keep open dialogue with other associations, inside and outside the sector, so as to create greater social support.
There is a Flemish concern that the VBT secretary takes into account in discussions within the working group and with the European Union institutions. That is the social pressure on, among other things, crop protection and fertilizer use. The EU debate on packaging and packaging waste will significantly affect the fruit and vegetable sector's functioning, too. Vanoirbeek advocates that in these debates, besides the goal of making progress, the new measures' fairness, realism, and affordability must always be considered.