Interview with Rinaldin, President of Unacma
“Precision agriculture, management of big data and prospects for digital technology, the need for skilled labour, perhaps by developing an alternating school-work experience system, and joint lobbying to protect the role and function of farm machinery dealers within the scope of European standards relating to type-approval of tractors, trailers and towed equipment nicknamed the Mother Regulation.”
These are the main themes under discussion at the 63rd Congress of Climmar, the European Association of Farm Machinery Dealers and Repair Centres scheduled today in Venice until Sunday. These topics are summed up by Roberto Rinaldin, President of Unacma, the National Union of Farm Machinery Dealers acting as Chairman of the European meeting.
Close attention is paid to “the search for new customer services which combine a focus on the needs of agricultural machinery users and profitability for dealers”, said the Unacma number one.
“The meeting we are organising in Venice is a very important occasion for understanding the future of a sector involving more than 17,200 dealers associated with the 16 national federations making up Climmar,” Rinaldin told the Press Office of Fieragricola, the international agriculture exhibition scheduled in Verona 31 January-3 February 2018. “We deal with different markets and organizations, as well as companies, that do not always share common features.”
In Italy, for example, there are about 2,000 farm machinery dealers. “This macro-sector, however, also includes retailers exclusively selling used machinery or only equipment, or systems and equipment for gardening,” he points out, “whereas there are no more than 400 or so agricultural machinery dealers handling tractors, equipment and combine harvesters.”
Elsewhere in Europe, scenarios are different with repercussions even in terms of average turnover per dealer associated with Climmar. “The European average is around 2.5 million euros,” the Association suggests, “but there are peaks in Latvia, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Sweden. Italy has an average of below 2 million euros.”
As regards comparison and sharing of solutions for dealers, “Italy plays a leading role, in terms of both ideas and overall vision in a rapidly evolving sector, not the least in view of the decline in the number of farmers and greater crop specialization; however, this all comes about differently and responds to the logic of cultivated area, market and even climate change, which we feel must also be tackled in a decisive manner by agricultural machinery.” However, the Italian system, according to Unacma, “in addition to limited interest in the primary sector – not one newspaper has a page dedicated to agriculture and the primary sector is only mentioned in relation to mad cows, giant courgettes or milk quotas – suffers from little attention to involving young people in the specific field of dealers, as opposed to other realities in where they are provided tools tailored to facilitate the transition from school to work.”
The topics under discussion by European agricultural machinery dealers will also include vehicle overhauls, after-sales service and the new frontiers in marketing, not to mention the reputation of manufacturer brands.