EU farm cooperatives’ leader, Thomas Magnusson, has warned that a potential free trade deal with the Latin American trade bloc Mercosur could have a “catastrophic impact” on the EU poultry sector.
Mr Magnusson, who is president of Cogeca, the European farm cooperatives organisation, delivered his warning to EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, who was meeting both Cogeca and Copa, the EU’s equivalent body for farmers.
While the two organisations joined forces to press for progress on several free-trade deals, they made it clear that a Mercosur agreement is not to their liking.
Mr Magnusson told Commissioner Malmstrom that his members had “serious concerns” regarding a Mercosur deal, believing it carried the risk of having a catastrophic impact on EU producers, especially in the poultry and beef sectors.
For her part, Commissioner Malmstrom opted for a brief response, stating merely that Copa & Cogeca’s concerns will be taken into account. She also said, however, that a “cumulative impact assessment on trade” is already in development and will be released later this autumn.