Ceci est une version HTML d'une pièce jointe de la demande d'accès à l'information 'Correspondance about environmental and food safety standards in relation to TTIP'.




Ref. Ares(2016)7049618 - 19/12/2016
EUROPEAN POULTRY INDUSTRY 
AND TRADE - POLICY PAPER


Presentation of the EU poultry meat sector:
In 2013 the production of poultry meat in EU-27 
Globally, poultry meat consumption is predicted to 
a.v.e.c
was over 13 million tons, of which 77% was broil-
overcome pork consumption in 2020 and increas-
er meat, 15% turkey and 4% duck. The EU is an 
ing by 27 % through 2023. However, this may large-
AUSTRIA
important player in international trade of poultry 
ly benefit third countries such as Brazil, China and 
BELGIUM
meat. In 2013 the EU exported 1,43 million tons 
the USA, while only marginally will affect Europe, 
CZECH REPUBLIC
poultry meat with a value of €2,077 billion (average  which is struggling to see the equivalence of its 
DENMARK
€146 per 100 kg), while it imported 0,809 million 
high production standards against competitors.
FINLAND
tons with a value of €2,090 billion (average €258 
FRANCE
per 100 kg). Poultry meat combines the advantag-
GERMANY
es of being an affordable source of protein with 
Source:
HUNGARY
low fat content and low carbon emissions without 
www.avec-poultry.eu
ITALY
conveying any religious restrictions. On average 
NETHERLANDS
a European citizen consumes annually almost 24 
GENERAL PRINCIPLES:
POLAND
kilos of poultry meat. 
PORTUGAL
ROMANIA
SPAIN
SWEDEN
UNITED KINGDOM
77%
15%
4%
4%
BROILER MEAT
TURKEY MEAT
DUCK MEAT
OTHER POULTRY MEAT
Presentation of the association
a.v.e.c., the association of Poultry Processors and 
The a.v.e.c. secretariat is based in Brussels. a.v.e.c. 
Poultry Trade in the EU countries, is the voice of 
is member of the International poultry Council (IPC) 
the EU Poultry industry towards the European 
that represent about 90% of the broiler production 
institutions. The members of a.v.e.c. are national 
and about 95% of the world poultry trade: 
organisations representing companies in 16 EU 
www.internationalpoultrycouncil.org.
countries that are processing and trading the meat 
of the different poultry species as chicken, turkey, 
a.v.e.c. reports each year about its activities and 
duck and goose.  Their share is more than 90% of 
the main issues interesting the poultry meat indus-
the total EU poultry meat production representing 
try. The annual reports are published on a.v.e.c. 
13 million tons. The sector employs more than 
website: 
300.000 citizens and the total value of production 
www.avec-poultry.eu/annual-reports-overview.
is estimated at 32 billion Euros.
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12 PRIORITIES FOR THE 
POULTRY MEAT SECTOR
GENERAL PRINCIPLES
FOOD SAFETY / FOOD QUALITY
SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION
INTERNATIONAL TRADE
1 A constant and constructive dialogue with the  2 European poultry businesses have hugely 
6 Intensive poultry production is sustainable 
9 Third countries need to recognise the EU-28 
competent authorities of the EU is required 
invested in the holistic farm-to-fork hygiene 
since it makes efficient use of natural re-
as an internal and single market. The SPS pro-
in order to achieve a reduction of the admin-
policy that may be considered as the best and 
sources which generates low greenhouse gas 
cedures each individual country has to pass 
istrative burden and a harmonized interpre-
most sustainable system to guarantee the 
emissions. Its contribution to EU food security 
for getting access to a third country must be 
tation and implementation of the EU law. The 
safety of the products. Therefore it should be 
is therefore essential. 
simplified, which should be a prerequisite for 
competitiveness of the EU industry and the 
defended and promoted.
Read more  on SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION
any trade agreements with third countries.
level playing field within the EU and with its 
- click here or go to page 12
main competitors in North and South America  3 European poultry meat inspection should be 
10 Since more than 90% of the European poultry 
and Asia needs full attention.
focusing more on the microbiological than the 
ANIMAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
production is in conventional systems effi-
Read more on GENERAL PRINCIPLES
visual aspects. 
ciently organised, the programs to support 
- click here or go to page 6
7 The “One health” strategy of the EU: the 
market access for poultry meat in third coun-
4 Official controls and the costs involved should 
European poultry industry participates strong-
tries should cover also these conventional 
be risk-based, relevant, and fit-for-purpose. 
ly to initiatives aiming at reducing the use of 
products.
The costs of official inspection should be fairly 
antibiotics in livestock and companion animals 
shared between the private business and the 
along the principle “as much as needed, as 
11 Imports should satisfy identical rules as the 
competent authority to promote efficient 
little as possible”.
ones imposed on EU producers instead of 
controls on both private and public.
solely “equivalent” rules. If all EU high stan-
Read more on FOOD SAFETY
8 Animal based welfare indicators may be a 
dards of animal welfare, production process 
- click here or go to page 7
good tool to monitor the welfare level at dif-
hygiene, food quality and environmental sus-
ferent stages in the production chain. But the 
tainability are not applied on the exact same 
5 All products containing more than 25 % of 
introduction by public rules should be aligned 
way, duties should be maintained to protect 
poultry meat should be mandatory labelled 
between Member States to avoid it is harming 
EU producers from dumped imports.
with the country or region of origin.
the optimal functioning of the internal market.  
Read more on FOOD QUALITY
Read more on ANIMAL HEALTH AND WELFARE 
12 The animal health and welfare, environmental 
 - click here or go to page 10
- click here or go to page 13
and food safety standards imposed on Europe-
an producers have to be defended and pro-
moted in international organization such as 
OIE, FAO, WTO, and CODEX ALIMENTARIUS.
Read more on INTERNATIONAL TRADE 
 - click here or go to page 16
4
5
FOOD SAFETY: / FOOD QUALITY:

link to page 3


GENERAL PRINCIPLES
FOOD SAFETY
Reduction of the administrative burden and 
Priority should be given to harmonised interpreta-
The food business operator is the first responsible 
and (EC) No 854/2004 found widespread difficulties 
harmonized implementation of the EU law
tion and proper implementation and enforcement 
for food safety. The role of the competent author-
and called for a revision of the meat inspection pro-
a.v.e.c. advocates better EU legislation by more har- of existing legislation above the introduction of 
ity is to supervise and control food businesses to 
cess in particular. In light of the “delivering smart 
monization and coordination of interpretation and 
new legislation.
ensure consumers may be confident that the food 
regulation” principle, the Commission intends to 
implementation by the Member States to improve 
on the market is safe. The supervision and inspec-
carefully look to the possible disproportionate ap-
both the level playing field on the internal market 
Open communication lines between stakeholders 
tions should be risk based which means that the 
proach for the safety of certain products at import 
and the competitiveness of the industry on the 
and EU institutions
level and frequency of official controls is taking 
and reduce the administrative burdens.
global market place. 
Constructive debate and constant communication 
into account the performance of the food business 
between the legislator and different stakeholders is 
operator. We consider the perceived increasing 
a.v.e.c. is strongly supporting the idea of develop-
EU producers are confronted with different inter-
essential for practical, efficient and effective legisla-
number of food safety alerts as the result of the 
ing a new “approach” on poultry meat inspection, 
pretations and implementations of the legislation 
tion. Existing good practices of active involvement 
improvements of the private and official controls 
introducing risk-based interventions and a harmon-
across the EU at the expense of the functioning of 
of stakeholders by European institutions should be 
above the increased awareness. 
ised food chain information system in order to fully 
the internal market that will finally undermine the 
maintained and be used for further improvement 
address the most relevant microbiological hazards 
competitiveness of the European food producers. 
of engagement of the relevant stakeholders in the 
Food hygiene - modernization poultry meat
to public health (not always easily detected with 
a.v.e.c. welcomes the Commission commitment 
consultation process. This is a mutual interest of 
inspection- microbiological criteria
the current meat inspection system). 
to assess if the legislative framework is still “fit for 
both public and private representatives. 
The Commission is working on the revision of the 
purpose”. However we request prudence in the 
meat inspection and of the hygiene package focus-
The poultry industry is highly integrated and the 
Back to the “12 priorities for the poultry meat sector:”
REFIT activity especially with the introduction of 
- click here or go to page 4-5
ing on delivering a more risk-based system. For the 
single Food Business Operator is able to handle all 
subsidiarity that may threaten the well-functioning 
identification of public health risk the food chain 
the steps of the production chain, farms, slaugh-
of the internal market if this principle will not be 
information and microbiological controls is much 
terhouses and production of food. These features, 
properly applied. 
more relevant than the visual inspection today 
allow a capillary control of each phase and the 
which is the way to detect quality deficiencies. 
possibility to intervene rapidly and precisely both in 
The Report  from the Commission on the experi-
case of emergencies in case of ordinary admini-
ence gained from the application of the hygiene 
stration. 
Regulations (EC) No 852/2004, (EC) No 853/2004 
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Given the success to reduce Salmonella in poultry 
abstaining from antimicrobial treatment (AMT). 
a.v.e.c. is convinced that a harmonised approach 
Mutual equivalence principle would allow third 
for different zoonotic diseases is needed. Mean-
countries’ food exports produced to different stan-
while, a.v.e.c. believes that for a successful fight 
dards to be sold on the EU market. It is not accept-
against Campylobacter it is important to focus not 
able that the ‘farm to fork’ policy would not apply 
only on the slaughterhouse, but also on the farm. 
on products entering the EU market and that apart 
Since human campylobacteriosis is more often 
from that European consumers have to accept the 
linked to the “poultry reservoir” than to the poul-
use of substances and practices not permitted in 
try meat successful interventions on the farm will 
the EU.  
bring a more durable and sustainable solution. 
A.v.e.c. strongly stands against the use of chemical 
Policy “ from farm to fork” versus the use of 
treatments which are not accepted by consumers 
chemical substances or processing aids
since for successful marketing it is essential that 
The EU policy to address food safety in each stage 
poultry meat complies with consumers’ demand 
of the chain and not allowing the use of other sub-
and expectations. Moreover such intervention may 
stances than potable water in the slaughterhouse 
not guarantee a higher level of food safety and may 
is unique in the world. It is at least as efficient and 
be critical for the safety of the food industry work-
By this highly integrated structure a lot of data is 
Zoonosis: Salmonella and Campylobacter 
effective as the systems elsewhere that make use 
ers. 
available as basic information in the food chain in-
The European poultry industries has achieved 
of substances to reduce the bacterial load on the 
formation system. A well-defined and harmonised 
many major improvements over the last decades 
carcass. But the European system is also more 
Furthermore you should be conscious that if patho-
data collection system will make the poultry meat 
in the reduction of the prevalence of Salmonella 
expensive and requires more investments from the  gen reducing treatments would be accepted by the 
chain efficient in the EU-28 single market. 
typhimurium and Salmonella enteritidis, the two 
industry.  
EU the poultry meat imported today may be treat-
serotypes that most frequently cause disease in 
ed too.
A.v.e.c. has presented its ideas and position on 
humans. In coordination with the European Com-
A.v.e.c. supports the Commission decision to retain 
poultry meat inspection already to Commission 
mission and Member States, strong measures and 
Back to the “12 priorities for the poultry meat sector:”
EU food safety standards based on the “from farm 
- click here or go to page 4-5
officials. The control in the slaughterhouse will 
interventions have successfully been implemented 
to fork” that entailed substantial investment from 
be through good hygiene practices and the use 
to reduce Salmonella contamination in poultry and 
private businesses to guarantee food safety while 
of HACCP systems will guide the meat inspectors. 
poultry products. 
The critical points in the process that needs special 
attention of food business operators are at eviscer-
Data from EFSA and ECDC show that according to 
ation, washing the carcass in and out and during 
the last annual report on zoonoses and food borne 
chilling.
outbreaks 2012 , Campylobacter is the most com-
mon cause of human zoonosis. It has a significant 
Furthermore, a.v.e.c. advocates the use of defini-
impact on food safety and public health, and poul-
tions not susceptible to extensive interpretation 
try is considered a major source of human campy-
which may impede a harmonised and consistent 
lobacteriosis.
implementation across Europe, block further tech-
nological development while creating a concrete 
devaluation of products. This concerns especially 
the definition of MSM in Regulation 853/2004 that 
last already for too many years and we are waiting 
for a longstanding solution by the introduction 
of certain criteria and values related to validat-
ed tests. This is a critical point since Regulation 
1169/2011 prescribes that MSM has to be labelled 
as such and is not included in the meat content.
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FOOD QUALITY:
The European producers are complying with the 
As regards the labelling of the meat used as an in-
Marketing standards
In particular and in the perspective of the free-
highest standards in the world that comprise 
gredient, a.v.e.c. believes it is necessary to increase 
After the adoption of the Common Agricultural 
trade agreement negotiations, the water content 
multiple aspects of origin, animal welfare and food 
the awareness of EU consumers on the origin of 
Policy package, the European Commission (DG 
limits in the European marketing standards for 
safety. 
the meat especially since the meat imported from 
AGRI) will start with the review of the connect-
poultry meat should be maintained and enforced 
3rd countries is not fully compliant to the same 
ed legislation. For the poultry meat industry the 
on imports from third countries. The use of differ-
The Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food  standards as the meat produced in the EU. The 
review of Commission Regulation 543/2008 of 16 
ent chilling methods leads to different levels of wa-
information to consumers contains the labelling 
EU should support better producers to provide 
June 2008 laying down detailed rules for the appli-
ter content permitted in the meat. Non-compliant 
requirements for food enabling consumers to make  consumers with knowledge about the differences 
cation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 as 
products should be refused at the border and not 
informed choice. It introduced several changes to 
in standards between meat from the EU and from 
regards the marketing standards for poultry meat is  being allowed to be sent for further processing or 
the existing legislation on food labelling.
third countries and the reason behind. This regards 
the most important.
to food services. As a consequence the water con-
A.v.e.c. will continue to closely follow the work of 
not only the household purchases but also the out-
tent criteria should also apply for our EU exports.
DG SANTE in this area and will contribute to the 
side household consumption since a significant part 
A.v.e.c. has already suggested modifications of the 
Back to the “12 priorities for the poultry meat sector:”
development of policy where it is in its member’s 
of the meat imported from 3rd countries (mainly 
definitions, the chilling methods, the origin label-
- click here or go to page 4-5
interests. 
Brazil and Thailand) is mostly consumed in mass 
ling and the requirements, registration and record 
catering, food services or is used in meat prepara-
keeping applicable to different types of farming. 
Origin
tions. Communication about the origin of the meat 
We also advocate that the future marketing stan-
From 1st of April 2015 poultry meat has to be la-
offered by these channels is therefore also essen-
dards do not obstruct the introduction of new tech-
belled enabling consumers to see in which country 
tial. 
nologies that may improve the safety and quality of 
the poultry has been reared and slaughtered. This 
Thus, a.v.e.c. is advocating the mandatory labelling 
poultry meat. 
is the first step and the next stage will be the label-
of all products containing more than 25 % of poul-
ling of meat used as an ingredient. 
try meat with the name of the country for products 
A.v.e.c. took note of the decision of the EU insti-
containing meat form animals reared both in and 
tutions regarding the labelling of fresh meat and 
outside the EU. 
supports the pragmatic approach decided by the 
commission. 
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SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION
The issue of sustainability is a topic of great in-
The priority of the Community institutions and 
would also lead to a reduction of food waste, and 
ANIMAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
terest for European citizens and a challenge for 
the food industry, looking at the constantly grow-
therefore would increase further the sustainability 
companies that consistently perform numerous 
ing food demand, must be to ensure that access 
of the sector. 
investments to adapt their production systems to 
to high quality and price-affordable foods will be 
improve the overall environmental efficiency along 
guaranteed to all citizens.
International initiatives
“Control package: Smarter rules for safer food”
the production chain.
A.v.e.c. is by its affiliation to the IPC actively par-
Processed Animal Protein (PAP)
ticipating in the LEAP program (Livestock Environ-
Official controls
The production of food and meat in particular, is 
The ban on the use of meat and bone meal for 
mental Assessment and Performance) driven by 
The on-going revision of the Official controls   leg-
often accused of wasting natural resources and to 
animal feeding, in force since 2001 as a preventive 
FAO. The aim of this multi-stakeholder partnership 
islation specifies that national authorities should 
have a negative impact on the environment. How-
measure against the Transmissible / Bovine Spon-
initiative is to draft specific guidelines for each 
have an obligation to collect fees from all food 
ever, recent FAO figures  show that poultry sector, 
giform Encephalopathy has increased the depen-
sector aimed to identify the environmental impact.  business operators, in order to recover the costs 
which accounts for 35% of global livestock pro-
dence of our market from third countries (Brazil, 
These guidelines, by providing tools to identify and 
of official controls.  In the past years the poultry 
duction, contributes only 7% to the total livestock 
USA) with regard to protein supply (especially soy-
manage the key-factors in each sector, will allow to 
sector has shown that the food business operators 
emissions, making poultry absolutely the most 
bean). Despite the 2007 EFSA opinion, which cer-
evaluate and, if necessary, to improve the environ-
are willing to invest in their own satisfactory checks 
sustainable meat in the world scene. In addition 
tified the absence of risk in the use of meat meal 
mental impact of each livestock sector.
and controls by employing on line inspectors 
emissions from conventionally indoor reared poul-
for the feeding of non-ruminant animals, currently 
supervised by the official inspectors. We trust this 
try are lower than from more extensive produc-
there is not a validated test that excludes the pos-
European initiatives – Industrial emissions 
positive commitment is taken into account by the 
tion systems as free-range or organic poultry. This 
sibility of intra-species use of animal proteins, as 
directive
legislator while defining a more efficient and (cost) 
should not be denied in the promotion of sustain-
required by the regulation on animal by-products.
The European Commission must adopt BAT con-
effective system. By sharing the costs of the official 
able meat production at affordable price since the 
A.v.e.c. supports the reintroduction of the use of 
clusions containing the emission levels associated 
inspection between private and public sector both 
theme of sustainability is not only linked to envi-
Processed Animal Protein and the development of 
with the BAT (best available techniques) that shall 
will have an incentive to organise it in an efficient 
ronmental sustainability, but also to secure access 
a validated test as required by the regulation. The 
serve as a reference for the drawing up of permit 
way.
to food (food security) and to economic sustainabil- use of these products as well as less dependence 
conditions. A.v.e.c. is in the opinion that industrial 
ity of the sector. 
from fluctuations in the market for protein sources 
installations must use the best available techniques  A.v.e.c. is in favour of a revision of the principle 
to achieve the optimal level of protection of the 
that only official veterinarians can carry out audits 
environment, under economically and technically 
and inspections of slaughterhouses, game handling 
viable conditions. A degree of flexibility is indis-
establishments and certain cutting plants (require-
pensable.
ments of Regulation 854/2004). This requirement 
is considered to impose high costs as underlined 
Back to the “12 priorities for the poultry meat sector:”
- click here or go to page 4-5
by the “Study on fees or charges collected by the 
Member States to cover the costs occasioned by 
official controls”  . If this requirement was to be 
relaxed for food business operators who are fully 
committed to their responsibility to bring on the 
market safe poultry meat according to the legal 
requirements, it could lead to more effective and 
cost-efficient controls.
Animal health
The European Parliament and Council are carrying 
out the definition of the animal health law (AHL) 
framework. In this regards, a.v.e.c. has underlined 
the importance of maintaining animal health scope 
and focus of the proposal, avoiding topics covered 
by other legislation to be included in the animal 
health legislative set. Moreover, the AHL will be the 
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link to page 3 legal framework for the monitoring of animal dis-
Animal welfare 
Labelling of animal welfare information
fore it is important that the Commission takes an 
eases and the use of antibiotics including its effects  The welfare of food producing animals depends 
Labelling of animal welfare is a complicated matter 
active stance towards third countries about the 
as antimicrobial resistance.
largely on how they are managed by humans. The 
since it is a relevant issue in all different stages of 
applied stunning of poultry. The enforcement of 
existing legal animal welfare requirements have 
the poultry chain from farm, transport and into the  equivalent stunning methods used in third coun-
We are pro-actively supporting initiatives that favor  no equivalent in the world and can unfortunately 
slaughterhouse. In each part of the chain the food 
tries is critical and if any flexibility is granted to 
quality schemes, bio-security measures, and good 
not all be imposed on the imported poultry meat. 
business operator has to respect the welfare of the  third countries, it should be granted to European 
husbandry systems of production. We adhere to 
Moreover cost conscious consumers seem not very 
animals.  We are committed to create a system by 
slaughterhouses the same way.
the “Best-practice framework for the use of antimi-
much willing to pay for the extra costs of the legal 
which the food business operator is able to explain 
crobials in food-producing animals” published by 
requirements.
to the final consumers the functioning of the sys-
A.v.e.c. advocates a clear definition of equivalency 
EPRUMA. Finally proper treatment of sick animals 
tem of production. Instead of physical and visible 
and a complete implementation for third countries 
needs to be available and permitted since it is in 
The use of animal-based measures to assess animal 
labels on the product we believe that new technol-
while stressing that traceability is an essential part 
the interest of the welfare of the animal too.
welfare is relatively new. Legislation related to the 
ogies as scanning codes on the product shall play a 
in the compliance to EU standards. Moreover there 
protection of animals usually focuses on the assess-
core role in delivering comprehensive and transpar- is a need for reconsideration of the requirements 
ment of different factors that can impact on wel-
ent information.
for stunning by the electrical water bath that will 
fare rather than on the animal’s response to these 
respect both the welfare of poultry and the quality 
Responsible use of veterinary drugs / veterinary 
factors. Such factors may include both the resourc-
Many consumers are interested to know the farm-
of the poultry meat in better and more balanced 
medicine product (VMP)
es available to the animal in its environment, for 
ing system. For many years specific farming systems  way. 
example space or bedding material or the practices 
(Fed with … % of … Oats fed goose  and or Exten-
Our approach to a prudent and responsible use of 
used to manage the animal on the farm, such as 
sive indoor (barn reared) or Free range or Tradition- Protection of animals during transport
veterinary drugs is based on simple principles:
how and when the farmer feeds the animal.
al free range or Free-range — total freedom) are 
The European poultry industry is committed to 
defined in marketing standards regulation, enabling  ensure the welfare of animals during transport in 
• Welcoming the initiative of the EU Commission 
The monitoring of indicators for animal welfare 
consumers in a simple way to make an informed 
compliance with the legislation on transport of 
to recast the 24-years old EU legislation that would  needs tools that take into account the complexity 
choice for products being produced under the 
poultry. On the basis of the provisions laid down in 
not only favour more harmonised rules across 
of other EU regulations as regards environment and 
complete set of European standards or not. We see  the EU Regulation 1/2005, a.v.e.c., with the support 
Europe (Regulation instead of Directive) but would 
food safety and quality issues. As already advo-
the introduction of many other different farming 
of other stakeholders, is developing a European 
also allow new techniques of incorporation of the 
cated similar interpretation, implementation and 
schemes resulting into the marketing of poultry 
poultry transport guide. This practical tool will help 
veterinary and medicinal products (VMP) meeting 
enforcement in the 28 Member States is essential 
meat with different labels. It may be sufficient 
professionals dealing with the transport of animals 
the required safety standards.
too. This should be ensured before any new leg-
to define just general criteria that other farming 
to protect the welfare of the animals during trans-
islation may be introduced and only if it may be 
schemes labels have to comply with.
port and thus to prevent animal suffering. 
• Supports the “One health” strategy of the EU and  enforced towards imports. Given the extra costs, 
Back to the “12 priorities for the poultry meat sector:”
initiatives aiming at reducing the use of 
the rules of fair competition and the limits of the 
Implementation of the Regulation 1099/2009 on 
- click here or go to page 4-5
antibiotics in livestock along the principle “as much  spending income of consumers, the legal frame-
the Protection of Animals at the Time of Killing 
as needed, as little as possible”.
work should focus more on transparent voluntary 
A particular attention has been paid by the Par-
welfare schemes that enable consumers to make 
liament to the complete implementation of the 
• No antibiotics should be delivered to animals 
an informed choice and pay for it accordingly. Such 
Regulation. Parliamentary questions have been 
without a prescription by a veterinarian based 
voluntary schemes may serve the creation of an 
tabled on the definition of equivalent stunning 
upon his diagnosis including an antibiogram.
international stable and effective level playing field. 
requirements applied in third countries and the 
A.v.e.c. and its members are continuously assisting 
assessment of the procedure of equivalence with 
• All routes for oral administration of VMPs have 
the business operators to manage the welfare of 
EU standards. EFSA opinions on electrical require-
their strengths and weaknesses and it should be 
poultry in the best way by management guides or 
ments for poultry water-bath stunning show that 
up to the vet to decide which option is the most 
guides of good practices. 
alternative electrical water-bath stunning methods 
appropriate (feed, water, pills); in any case, all op-
 
are not easily considered equivalent. In addition 
tions should be subject to a clear, harmonised legal 
it is well known that the mandatory conditions for 
framework.
electrical water-bath stunning are creating quality 
problems due to blood spots in the meat. There-
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Aspect to be taken into consideration in the 
free-trade negotiations
• Poultry meat is sensitive product
There should be no doubt about this since poultry meat is particularly vulnerable 
to competition from imports from other country suppliers as the above men-
tioned study conducted by LEI Wageningen learns.
• Single pocket approach
Despite the impasse of the current negotiations at WTO level, part of the nego-
tiated concessions in bilateral agreements (minimum 40 %) should be compen-
sated in the additional concessions for sensitive products in case of a multilateral 
agreement, otherwise the qualification “sensitive sector” would be meaningless.
• Safeguard clause
Trade agreements should contain a safeguard clause to protect our sector in case 
of a threat of serious market disturbances, especially in negotiations with import-
ant poultry producing countries or regions such as the United States, Mercosur 
and Thailand.
• SPS issue in the negotiations– respect of the farm to fork approach
Imported poultry meat from third countries not fully compliant with the EU stan-
INTERNATIONAL TRADE
dards of food safety and hygiene, animal health and welfare and environmental 
protection may undermine the credibility of the European system based upon the 
Safeguard of the EU production capacities
To justify this, should be considered that the 
principles ‘prevention is better than cure’ and on the “farm to fork” approach. It 
The European poultry sector has paid a strong 
European poultry sector is the most advanced in 
is fundamentally different from the system that is focusing only on the quality in 
tribute to the market opening of the European 
the world as regards of animal welfare, production 
the last stage of production during and after slaughter. How will be dealt with SPS 
Union compared to other meat sectors with quotas  processes hygiene, food quality, origin labeling 
issues must be embedded in the discussion on market access in all trade agree-
granted at very low or zero tariff duty and imports 
rules and environmental sustainability. All these 
ment negotiations to avoid that apart from the trade agreement, market access 
amounting  at more than 813 000 tons compared 
characteristics are translated into a higher produc-
be forced by a trade dispute in WTO. 
to imports of pork (34 900 T) and beef (306 675 T) 
tion cost for companies, especially when compared 
in the EU. The study conducted by LEI Wageningen 
to major competitors worldwide such as USA, Brazil 
• Recognition of the single market and regionalization by the trade partners
for a.v.e.c. on the competitiveness of the EU poul-
and China. Duties may be considered as a tool to 
The EU consists of 28 Member States that form a single market. However third 
try meat sector www.avec-poultry.eu/communica- create a fair level playing field, otherwise the com-
countries are usually refusing to recognize the internal market as one market 
tions-position-papers shows that duties are need-
petitive position of the EU poultry meat industry 
which means that each individual Member State has to go through a time and 
ed, even on granted import quotas, to protect the 
that employs more than 300 000 EU citizens will be 
money consuming procedure before they have access to the third country mar-
EU from third country imports.
put at risk. 
ket. The EU has not such a policy, but applies regionalization. So from the SPS 
perspective the approval procedure for establishments is easier for third coun-
tries than in the EU. 
This has to be resolved and the reciprocity principle should bring European com-
panies in the same position as third country companies.
In case of a contagious disease outbreak the EU is applying regionalization to con-
tain the disease as is recommended by OIE. Many third countries do not follow 
these OIE recommendations. For reciprocal partnership it is essential that in a 
trade agreement with a third country regionalization is confirmed. 
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link to page 3

• Balanced allocation of tariff rate quota (TRQ)
According to OECD-FAO outlook, the demand for poultry meat will grow in the 
If finally TRQ’s are granted, also the flexibility of the application and allocation 
coming decades with an increase of 27 % of the poultry meat consumption 
needs to be considered. It may be preferred to allocate TRQ’s to certain tariff 
globally, with 83 % of the increase in meat consumption coming from develop-
lines instead of giving full liberty to traders, importers and exporters to decide. 
ing countries. This represents great market opportunities for EU producers too, 
The allocation should be balanced between the main categories as whole carcass, 
despite our higher costs level. 
cuts with bone in and boneless cuts and may take into account the market profile 
and the consumer preferences to match the demand. The market opening should 
An increasing part of the export opportunities are and will be located in countries 
occur gradually and a review clause should be laid down in the agreement to al-
with important Muslim communities, therefore a.v.e.c. press the Commission to 
low a modification of the conditions if significant disturbance is observed on the 
invest time in the definition and negotiation of Halal standards that are broadly 
market. Regarding import rights and the system of licenses, we believe that a first 
accepted and easily applicable. 
come first served mechanism may not be the appropriate system since the struc-
ture of the production and trade differs usually too much between the importing 
We are convinced that the high quality of European poultry meat may perfect-
and exporting country. Finally attention should also be paid to rules of origin to 
ly match the expectations of consumers if our products will be available at an 
avoid indirect imports from neighboring third countries.
affordable and reasonable price. Since the main demand from third countries will 
be located in emerging countries, where the average spending income is often 
• Monitoring of the implementation of the agreement after the signature
lower than in the EU, access to European promotion funding should not focus 
An evaluation of the costs/benefits of the agreements should be performed be-
solely on so called “quality product” sold at a higher price to the detriment of 
fore the end of the review clause to determine what has been the impact of the 
“conventionally farmed” poultry that represents almost 100 % of the exports of 
agreement on both economies. This is essential for answering the question about 
European poultry meat.
the future of the agreement.
Since sanitary and veterinary issues have a substantial impact on market access, 
the European Food and Veterinary Office (FVO), the body in charge of the inspec-
tion of the establishments both in and outside the EU is playing a very important 
role.  An inspection report revealing deficiencies in the compliance with EU stan-
Multilateral level
dards needs to be followed by an appropriate firm action and intervention from 
Institutions as FAO, OIE and Codex Alimentarius 
It is important that the EU defends its right to 
the European Union, to prevent the EU producers’ position is undermined and 
play an important role in international standard 
impose similar requirements for imported products 
the credibility of the European standards is endangered.
setting. However within WTO it is not accepted for 
as are applied on European products. The equiva-
all standards to be imposed on products in inter-
lence principle should be applied in a prudent way 
• Promotion of our export interests
national trade. Especially standards that are not 
and if it is applied the equivalent practice should be 
A.v.e.c. is willing to work in close collaboration with the Commission to negotiate 
scientifically based or are introduced because of 
permitted for European producers too.  
market access in third countries when we believe there is a potential for EU pro-
societal and or consumer demand cannot legally 
ducers and EU industry is competitive.
Back to the “12 priorities for the poultry meat sector:”
mandatory imposed. 
- click here or go to page 4-5
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www.avec-poultry.eu
ASBL a.v.e.c. – ASSOCIATION DE L’AVICULTURE, DE L’INDUSTRIE ET DU COMMERCE DE VOLAILLES DANS LES PAYS DE L’UNION 
EUROPEENNE - Association of Poultry Processors and Poultry Trade in the EU Countries
47-51Rue du Luxembourg, Bte 2 - B-1050 Brussels - Phone +32 2 238 1082 - Fax +32 2 238 1084 - [adresse e-mail]