FTA negotiations should not allow sensitive areas to be sidestepped, says CELCAA October 29, 2015

‘The sensitivity of some agricultural goods must be given proper consideration by the Commission when they embark on new trade negotiations’, according to CELCAA, the European agricultural trade voice.

“With a highly competitive European agricultural sector there are real opportunities to benefit from greater access to the world market and we welcome the commitment that is being put into the wide range of agreements the EU is seeking to reach” said Paul Rooke, CELCAA President.  “At the same time we must ensure the EUs high level of environmental and animal welfare standards and their impact on production costs in the egg, poultry and meat sectors, is fully recognised as a sensitive area within the discussions. As negotiating parameters are scoped out ahead of substantive discussions, defensive interests, particularly where they are supported by EU consumer requirements, must be properly accounted for”, he concluded.

As part of this process, CELCAA is calling on the Commission to produce thorough impact assessments on the impact of additional market access for products considered as sensitive in the EU, including the cumulative impact of concessions through TRQs, before starting any new Free Trade negotiations.

CELCAA Secretary-General, Pascale Rouhier, said “From the start, the EU agri-food chain has been a strong supporter of an ambitious EU-Japan FTA. I hope that expectations from the sector will be met in terms of tariffs elimination, and the removal of non-tariff barriers impacting EU exports. We also welcome the fact that Japan has agreed to recognise the EU system of Geographical Indications (GIs) to protect our agri-food products from imitations. Such a deal could result in a significant increase in our exports of high-value added products to Japan”.

Press release is available here