With many uncertainties in the agricultural sector, including Brexit and the future Common Agricultural Policy, as well as the EU budget, Copa-Cogeca has written a letter to EU commissioner Cecilia Malmström, calling for balanced trade agreements, which respect production methods and minimise trade concessions for the beef sector.
Copa-Cogeca’s secretary general Pekka Pesonen said the EU had been giving substantial amounts of agriculture to Mercosur countries in trade negotiations, without getting much in return.
“It is of paramount importance to include the right tools to manage imports, avoiding market disruptions and giving a fair chance to SMEs [small to medium-sized businesses],” said Pesonen. “At a time when European farmers face additional restrictions on their activities, and are implementing measures to adapt to climate change, other trade partners are increasing their land under production at the expense of deforestation.”
Mercosur has received a backlash, since its involvement with the EU, from bodies including the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) whose livestock chairman Angus Woods said Brazilians would “continue to fail on standards”, adding that the EU “should pull the plug on any additional beef imports in the negotiations”.
It was confirmed earlier last week that Brazil’s minister of industry, foreign trade and services Marcos Jorge launched negotiations for a trade agreement between Mercosur and South Korea during a visit to Seoul.
Jorge said the trade agreement would reaffirm its commitment to the multilateral trading system and seek to take advantage of the complementarities of the economies to increase its trade.