Agrifood Podcast Special Edition: A closer look at EU agrifood trade

A special edition of the Agrifood Podcast. [EPA/PLAVLESKI]

In this special edition of the agrifood podcast, EURACTIV’s agrifood team speaks with a range of experts, from lawmakers to academics and NGOs, to bring you the nitty-gritty of the EU’s agrifood trade policy.

The Old Continent is the world’s biggest agricultural exporter and importer, however, the debate over free trade agreements (FTAs) has heated up over the past few years and it is increasingly becoming a contentious issue for a number of member states.

EURACTIV delves deeper into all aspects of EU agrifood trade: why it is so important in the context of the general EU trade policy, and what makes EU foodstuff and the European Single Market so different for trade partners.

This includes John Clarke, director for international affairs in the European Commission’s DG AGRI, who listed the main challenges when it comes to food in negotiations with trade partners, such as the protection of geographical indications (GIs) and the creation a level playing field to avoid unfair competition.

Liberal MEP Irene Tolleret highlighted the uniqueness of the EU food system in terms of high standards for environment and food safety, as well as for animal welfare, while also focusing on how to embed the Paris climate agreement in trade deals to promote the protection of the environment over the world.

Eduardo de la Peña, scientific officer at the EU Food Safety Agency (EFSA), mentioned the agency’s coordinated effort made against the introduction of new pests in the European Union that could damage our crops.

Other speakers pointed out the social, political consequences that come from closer trade relations, as well.

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