All redactions are made under art. 4(1)(b)
Ref. Ares(2017)4507128 - 15/09/2017
Ref. Ares(2018)1186223 - 02/03/2018
Mr Cecilia Malmström
Commissioner for Trade
200, rue de la Loi
Brussels, 15th September 2017
Re: Trade negotiations with Mercosur
Copa and Cogeca are the united voice of farmers and agri-cooperatives in the EU. Copa
represents over 23 million farmers and their family members, whilst Cogeca represents the
interests of 22,000 agricultural cooperatives. The European agricultural sector is committed to
supporting your aim to revive economic growth and create jobs for the European economy.
Today, the European agricultural and agri-food sector employs over 43 million people and
registered a positive trade balance of 20 billion euros in 2016.
Mercosur already provides more than 75% of the beef imported into the EU, consisting almost
exclusively of high value cuts. Beef imports from Mercosur already represent 20% of the EU high
value cuts market. However, at the same time, the EU beef sector is facing a negative
consumption trend, with a 20% drop in the last decade.
This situation may worsen with the implementation of the CETA agreement, which will allow for
beef imports of 55,000 tonnes into the EU market. The subsequent negotiations with Australia,
New Zealand and the USA could also potentially lead to new beef imports.
Furthermore, the beef sector has been identified as the most affected by the current negotiations
on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Indeed, in the short term, new outlets may need to be
found for around 250,000 tonnes. The withdrawal of the UK from the EU could also have an
impact on the next CAP budget.
We would therefore like to express our deep concern about the potential introduction of beef
products in the second market access offer to Mercosur. We suggest keeping ambition levels as
low as possible as many uncertainties remain in the beef sector, as highlighted above.
Aside from the market access issue, we would like to remind you that we have some of the
highest food safety and animal welfare standards in the world, which imports from these
countries do not share. We record an individual animal’s movements from the day it is born to
the day it dies. In Mercosur countries, on the other hand, only 10% of an animal’s life is
accounted for. Our system reassures consumers about the safety and quality of our meat. Beef
production in Europe – especially specialised beef production – also provides growth and jobs in
EU rural areas, where there is often no alternative source of employment. It also contributes to
green growth. The farming community will not understand or accept the presence of double
standards in the single market.
Copa - Cogeca |
European Farmers European Agri-Cooperatives
61, Rue de Trèves | B - 1040 Bruxel es | www.copa-cogeca.eu
EU Transparency Register Number | Copa 44856881231-49 | Cogeca 09586631237-74
Please be aware that a copy of this letter has also been sent to the Commissioner for Agriculture
and Rural Development, Phil Hogan.
Cc: Phil Hogan
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