Farmers Criticise Trade Chief Ahead of WTO Talks

EU - Farmers are opposing the agricultural proposal for discussion at the coming World Trade Organization talks.
calendar icon 14 July 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

PR-Inside reports the president of the European farmers' lobby saying the EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson is wrong when he claims that failing to strike a deal in WTO talks that begin Friday would shut Europe off from freer global trade.

Jean-Michel Lemetayer, president of the European farmers' organisation COPA said, "No deal is better than a bad deal, and the deal currently on the table is very bad."

COPA estimates that removing subsidies and allowing unlimited exports would cut European farmers' incomes by a quarter and cost them some €30 billion (US$47.5 billion) every year, without any gains.

These figures are much higher than the European Commission estimate that the farming sector would lose €18 million (US$28.5 million).

COPA said EU estimates only cover cereals, beef, pork, poultry and dairy, while its figure also includes sugar, rice, sheep and goat meat, fruit and vegetables and eggs.

The group also said Europe's food processing sector could lose well over half a million jobs, as meat processors and other businesses might close.

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