EU welcome for world farm trade mini-package

The EU agriculture industry has welcomed a world trade mini-package agreed last week.

“The Bali package covers trade facilitation, agriculture and a number of development issues and a clear work programme. Most importantly, it keeps the multilateral trade negotiations alive. Farmers and their agricultural cooperatives need fair, transparent and predictable rules of international trade. This is the best way to avoid possible trade disputes,” said Pekka Pesonen, secretary-general of Copa-Cogeca, which represents farmers and agricultural cop-ops.

Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Richard Bruton said it was a historic breakthrough which will cut customs red tape and bureaucracy, making it cheaper, smoother and quicker for exporters to sell internationally. “It is highly significant for agriculture, trade facilitation and support for developing countries. It will help provide food security for billions of people, while opening new markets for less developed countries to sell more, helping their economies grow and take greater strides in tackling poverty.”

“This is the first time in the World Trade Organisation’s 18-year history that it has concluded a multilateral trade agreement across all 160 members of the organisation.” He said the agreement re-energises the commitment of virtually all the world’s governments to press ahead with finishing a round of trade negotiations.

According to Mr Bruton, last week’s agriculture package gives developing countries the right to introduce food security policies in the form of public purchasing and stockholding of food for poorer citizens, of huge significance to many countries with fragile and basic agriculture sectors, where subsistence farming can be so important to many millions that go hungry every day.

The deal in Indonesia will mean that developed countries will make it easier for developing country farm produce exporters to access markets.


Louisa Earls is a manager at Books Upstairs, D’Olier St, Dublin, which is owned by her father, Maurice Earls.Virus response writes a new chapter for Books Upstairs

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