Farmers lose out in EU trade deals

15 November 2016

European farmers are getting hit hard by free trade deals, a report from the European Commission states today. Following a request by 20 EU farm ministers the European Commission was obliged to carry out an assessment on the cumulative impacts on EU agricultural sectors by 12 current and proposed free trade agreements. The study published today concludes that the existence of whole EU farm sectors – such as pasture-fed beef production – will be at risk from such agreements [1].

Mute Schimpf, food campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, commented: "Family farming plays a massive role in ensuring food security and looking after our natural resources and landscapes. Public concerns about the CETA and TTIP deals with North America are absolutely spot on. This research shows that many European farmers are being sacrificed on the altar of free trade deals. Agriculture should be taken out of trade deals so that we can support local and green food production whilst allowing farmers a decent income to survive."

 

NOTES:

[1] The study can be found here: "Cumulative economic impact of future trade agreements on EU agriculture". On beef, see p. 55: "The additional volume of EU beef imports creates a direct downward pressure on the EU producer prices."

[2] Background note for the Council meeting: http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-14222-2016-INIT/en/pdf

[3] Background about the scope of the study from DG Agriculture: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/trade-analysis/impact-assessment/index_en.htm

[4] Existing studies from the European Parliament or the US Department of Agriculture predict losses for several farming sectors in the EU by TTIP. A short summary of the key studies can be found here: http://www.foeeurope.org/trading-away-EU-farmers-risks-Europe%27s-agriculture-from-TTIP