Today I gave a presentation on the implications of the European Green Deal for agri-food trade with developing countries to a webinar organized by the European Landowners’ Organisation (ELO) (the presentation can be downloaded here and you can also listen to the presentation itself as well as the webinar as a whole at the following link). The presentation was based on a paper I am preparing on this topic commissioned by the ELO and the issues raised at the webinar will feed into the final version of the paper.
The urgent need to address the challenges that face our food system, to provide healthy and adequate nutrition for all and ensure decent livelihoods while remaining within planetary boundaries, is not in question. The European Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy requires that food placed on the market should not only be safe but also sustainable and contribute to better health outcomes. Trade policy is required to be coherent with and supportive of these objectives of the Green Deal.
Implementing these requirements and changes will have a significant impact on the competitiveness of EU producers as well as international trade in food. Much of the debate on the role of trade policy has focused on the feared competitiveness loss with competitive agricultural exporters such as the US, Canada and Brazil if the EU embarks on the transition alone.
But Green Deal and trade policy changes will also have implications for the vulnerable developing countries. The EU has committed to helping these countries reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly through its commitment to Policy Coherence for Development.
The purpose of the forthcoming paper, and today’s presentation, is to ask how the interests and needs of developing countries can be reflected in the design of trade policy measures so that the EU does not inadvertently make it more difficult for them to reach their Sustainable Development Goals.
Very happy to take further ideas in the comments.
This post was written by Alan Matthews.
Photo credit: Cocoa farmer from Wikipedia Commons, used under a Creative Commons licence.
24 Feb 2022. The link to the recording of the webinar was added.