A level playing field for global food trade
exporter of processed foodstuffs - made calls for a fairer playing
field for members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at a
conference held in Brussels last week.
The European food and drink industry - the second largest world exporter of processed foodstuffs - made calls for a fairer playing field for members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at a conference held in Brussels last week.
Hosted by Europe's food and drink federation, the CIAA, the conference debated challenges and opportunities for the food sector in light of the Doha Development Agenda and the upcoming Cancun trade talks.
"Developing countries should be guaranteed a special treatment in function of their economic situation and needs to avoid seeing only the most developed of them benefit from increased market access," said Jean Martin, CIAA president, speaking at the conference.
A keen supporter of the European Commission's controversial proposed changes to the Common Agricultural Policy, the CIAA reiterated that constructive efforts on agricultural reform 'must lead to an agreement by or at the Cancún ministerial'.
'The CIAA is committed to continue the reform process in international agricultural policies that should lead to a clear set of trade rules creating a fairer playing field for WTO members following the Doha Development Agenda,' said the European group.
In addition, CIAA hopes for the upcoming Cancún ministerial to include reinforcement of the protection of geographical indications of foodstuffs needs and the opening of negotiations on a WTO agreement onSingapore issues and in particular on trade facilitation aspects.
The CIAA claims that coherence between the three pillars of agricultural policy - domestic support, market access and export competition - and also between provisions applying to raw materials and to processed products, is essential to maintain competitiveness of EU food and drink products. The market access approach, stressed the CIAA, should take into consideration both defensive and offensive interests of the EU food and drink industries.