European farm group video opposes trade agreement with Mercosur countries
Three European farm organizations have posted a 6-minute video to explain why they oppose the European Union’s trade agreement with the Mercosur trade bloc countries in South America.
As it stands, the agreement “is unacceptable to EU farmers at a time when they will have to find solutions to respond to the Green Deal objectives,” the organizations of European farm groups and cooperatives said in a news release.
“The three main reasons given in this video are clear. First, the agreement with Mercosur is unbalanced in its agricultural chapter, especially for already fragile sectors. Through the example of the beef sector, it is easy to understand that this agreement is going to transfer the bargaining power from EU livestock farmers to big operators in Mercosur countries.
“Secondly, European farmers rightly fear the cumulative and hardly measurable impacts of all the agreements already signed and those still to come. This was confirmed by the commission study on the cumulative impact assessment on agriculture products.
“In this context, the EU-Mercosur agreement is the straw that could break the camel’s back. The example given in the video speaks for itself: in the poultry sector, each year imports from Mercosur countries will represent the production of Denmark, Finland and Sweden combined.
“The last essential argument featured is that the EU-Mercosur agreement will clearly widen the gap for EU farmers due to double standards for EU farmers. The example of the sugar beet sector is a symptomatic case. Through this agreement, Europe will import sugar and ethanol that in no way respects our production standards.
“According to CIBE Brazil, for example, uses 27 herbicides and insecticides that are banned in Europe. While we are discussing ambitious targets under the Farm to Fork strategy, this double standard and unlevel playing field seems completely incomprehensible to the entire farming community and will inevitably result in a transfer of production to countries where we have no control over the setting of production standards.”
According to the video, there is still time for a fairer agreement to be reached because the European and national parliaments must still consider the agreement.
“The voices of citizens, consumers and farmers must be heard,” said COPA and COGECA, the organizations representing farmers and agri-cooperatives in the EU.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that EU diplomats say that Brazil needs to protect its rain forests if the deal is to go through.
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