(Brussels, 16 October 2020) The EU agri-food chain supports the continuation of Brexit negotiations in the coming weeks and we are pleased that the EU has reaffirmed its determination to have a close partnership with the UK, while maintaining the integrity of the Single Market.
Nevertheless, it is a tale of another summit and another very worrying outcome for Europe's farmers, agri-cooperatives, food businesses and traders. Where our businesses seek certainty, they are given confusion. Where they seek speed, they have delay.
Businesses in the food and farming sectors are under intense strain from Covid-19, and now a devastating no-deal looms closer - a result which will heap more pressure on businesses, threaten thousands of jobs and put a large dent in the annual EU-UK agri-food trade worth €58 billion.
We are calling on the European Commission to carefully consider the impacts of Brexit on the European agri-food sector and ensure that it will substantially and swiftly benefit from the €5 billion Brexit Adjustment Reserve.
Exceptional circumstances require exceptional measures. Therefore, the EU must also make structural and adjustment funding available to the agri-food sector and from outside of the CAP budget.
At the same time, we call on the EU to develop and rapidly implement pragmatic supporting measures to counteract the negative impacts of Brexit, and we call on the UK to swiftly clarify regulatory unknowns, so that the agri-food chain can continue to operate and provide safe, affordable and accessible food to consumers whether under a deal or no-deal scenario.
Copa and Cogeca are the united voice of farmers and agri-cooperatives in the EU. Together, they ensure that EU agriculture is sustainable, innovative and competitive, guaranteeing food security to half a billion people throughout Europe. Copa represents over 23 million farmers and their families whilst Cogeca represents the interests of 22,000 agricultural cooperatives. They are one of the biggest and most active lobbying organisations in Brussels.
CELCAA is the EU umbrella association representing the trade in agri-food and commodities to the EU Institutions and stakeholders, representing more than 35,000 trading companies. We cover the trade in cereals, grains, oil, sugar, animal feed, wine, meat and meat products, dairy and dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, tobacco, spices and nuts, cut flowers and plants and general produces.
FoodDrinkEurope represents the food manufacturing industry. Made up of 291,000 businesses and 4.8 million workers, the food and drink industry buys 70% of all EU agricultural produce and is Europe’s largest manufacturing industry.