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Copa-Cogeca: EU-Canada Deal Threatens Market Balance

24 October 2013

EU & CANADA - Major concerns have been raised by the European agriculture sector that Canada will gain increased market access for substantial volumes of beef and pig meat under the latest EU-Canada trade deal.

Reacting to the trade liberalising deal struck last week, Copa-Cogeca said it welcomed the fact that the Canadians have agreed to respect EU quality standards but it was worried that there could be unacceptable levels of beef and pork imports from Canada to the EU.

Copa President Albert Jan Maat said: “We have seen progress in some areas, for instance on recognition of EU production and quality standards like Geographical Indications (GIs) .This is a good step forward.

"It’s the first major trading partner that has recognised the principle of our system of GIs, despite some shortcomings. The avoidance of the use of growth promoters is also good. I urge MEPs and EU Ministers to ensure that this is included in the final agreement and that EU standards are respected.

"It is important for the EU pig meat industry which has struggled recently due to high feed costs and after tough welfare standards were introduced. I also welcome the fact that some progress was made in the dairy sector compared to the initial discussions concerning increased market access for EU cheese exports to Canada.

"But this agreement signed between the EU Commission President and Canadian Prime Minister still goes much further in terms of what was agreed in the pig meat and beefmeat sectors than what was foreseen in the current round of World Trade liberalising talks. We must ensure that there is no disruption to the meat market."

Cogeca President Christian Pees continued: “The EU has agreed to give increased market access for large volumes of beef meat and pig meat which is unacceptable even if it is hormone-free. This is something we want EU Ministers and MEPs to look at when they approve the final deal."

Mr Pees concluded: "Beef is a sensitive product for us, and EU beef production is under threat. Imports would increase substantially as a result of this deal. Also within the beef sector, we would have liked to see better division of our chilled, fresh and frozen beef in favour of frozen beef."

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