On the eve of the 5th WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancún, the Confederation of the food and drink industries of the EU, the voice of the €600 billion European food and drink industry, has urged WTO members to come to a balanced framework agreement on the modalities for the agriculture negotiations.
For the CIAA, the Doha Development Round should lead to a clear set of trade rules and a fairer playing field for all WTO Members.
In a statement this week the group said that it is "in favour of a rules-based multilateral trading system" and that the WTO should "also create a framework that benefits and secures agro-industrial investments".
Recalling its main objectives for the conference, the CIAA 'milestone' claims it supports a "balanced framework agreement on the modalities for the agriculture negotiations to further reduce trade distorting measures".
In addition, the CIAA said it welcomed the joint effort made by both the EU and US - criticised by certain environmental groups - last month to propose a "more realistic basis for negotiation".
With regards to the TRIPS (Trade-related aspects of the intellectual property rights) agreement, the CIAA said it expects a "clear indication as regards the establishment of the register for wines and spirits providing real legal security to manufacturers and expects a move forward on the extension of the additional protection to other food products".
As a last word the group claimed, and warned, that because there are "significant differences among developing countries' it would be more appropriate for the agreement on agriculture 'to provide to developing countries a treatment that is graduated according to their individual economic situation".
According to the industry group the EU food and drink industry exports more than €45 billion of foodstuffs to world markets.