“All you need is trade”, chime Copa-Cogeca and Celcaa

Together with Celcaa, Copa and Cogeca underlined the importance of trade for agriculture and the need for fair rules to keep a dynamic market at a 2015 WTO public forum in Geneva today, Monday 5 October.

Speaking in Geneva, Copa-Cogeca Chairman of the Milk Working Party Mansel Raymond said “The EU dairy sector is important for growth and jobs, employing over 1.2 million people and 1 000 000 farmers. And we will need to produce more milk in the future to respond to increasing demand outside Europe expected to grow by 2.1% in the medium to long term. Key drivers for this increase are rising demand for cheese and skimmed milk powder. If EU dairy producers are to be in a position to meet this demand, we need fair trading rules to keep a dynamic market. We need to focus not only on cutting tariffs in order to open markets but also on eliminating unnecessary red tape and non-tariff barriers to trade. We need to tackle sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to trade which are often not based on science and effectively block our exports. Also we need to ensure that the EU system of geographical indications for protecting speciality cheeses from imitations is recognised and protected”. >

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen went on to say that the world trade liberalising talks (WTO) represent a unique opportunity for the farming community to address in a comprehensive manner agriculture trade and fair trading rules. “It is not just about agriculture, it is about development, growth and jobs. The EU committed itself in Hong Kong in 2008 to not use refunds on agricultural exports since 2009. But we need to see similar commitments from other trade partners who also use different forms of export support. We want further commitments from WTO members on domestic support as we see no positive developments around the world. We need to kick-start the stalled round of world trade liberalising talks. Bilateral trade negotiations cannot replace them especially since what is agreed in bilateral agreements will eventually have to be included in a global WTO deal”, he warned.

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