EU Farmers Continue Campaign for Stricter EU Citrus Black Spot Controls

Summary

EU farmers organizations continue to push for stricter SPS controls on citrus imports including the mandatory use of cold treatment. The South African citrus industry believes such a requirement would be an economic disaster for the industry. In the context of the Spanish citrus industry’s pressure for stricter EU SPS controls, the UK’s departure from the EU could offer a life line for the South African citrus industry. If SPS controls not relevant to UK agricultural production were lifted and duty free-quota free access to the UK market could be secured in line with the South African government’s current aspirations for post-Brexit trade relations with the UK, then less restrictive market access requirements would apply potentially opening up additional export opportunities to the UK market. Read more “EU Farmers Continue Campaign for Stricter EU Citrus Black Spot Controls”

Proposed EC Regulatory Initiative on UTPs Needs to be Extended to ACP-EU Supply Chains

Summary

The EC is currently undertaking consultations on new proposals to reduce unfair trading practices (UTPs), to which farmers are seen as being particularly vulnerable. UTPs are seen as stifling innovation and undermining on-farm investment through reducing the commercial viability of farming activities. The envisaged regulations aim to ensure a fairer distribution of value along agricultural supply chains, and increase both farm incomes and on-farm investment.

There is an urgent need to extend EU regulations on UTPs to ACP-EU supply chains since in some major sectors abuses of the weak market position of smallholder producers are endemic. Investments in poverty focused export orientated smallholder production will be undermined unless issues of UTPs along ACP-EU supply chains are addressed. Read more “Proposed EC Regulatory Initiative on UTPs Needs to be Extended to ACP-EU Supply Chains”

CBS controls remain threat to South Africa citrus exports to EU despite recent expansion

Summary
Contrary to EU delegation claims, South African citrus exports to the EU have not tripled since 2007.  Export volumes since 2012 have in fact been 6.2% below the recent peak level attained in 2008. This is in part attributable to stricter EU CBS controls which have fallen particularly heavily on emergent and previously disadvantaged farmers, who find themselves commercially excluded from EU market supply chains. On-going campaigning by Spanish citrus growers for stricter CBS controls remains a threat to South African citrus exports, particularly given the burden the existing control measures place on government plant disease control capacities.

The issue of the differential impact which EU SPS controls have on small emergent commercial farmers and large commercial farmers raises the need to improve the design and application of EU SPS controls so as to support smallholder participation in high value export supply chains whilst still ensuring underlying EU SPS controls objectives are attained. Read more “CBS controls remain threat to South Africa citrus exports to EU despite recent expansion”

Hard Brexit Could Severely Disrupt EU27-UK Agro-Food Sector Trade

Summary

While the EU has been urged to ‘take a more active role in trying to shape a Brexit outcome that is least damaging to its interests’, the ACP Group needs to ensure this approach is extended to the EU’s traditional developing country partners such as the ACP Group.  It is becoming increasingly apparent that for major ACP agro-food export product groups, Brexit could have a major impact on the functioning of existing ACP supply chains currently serving the EU28 market.  This needs to be fully assessed so that as the Brexit negotiations develop the key priorities for administrative and regulatory initiatives and marketing adjustment support are identified.    Read more “Hard Brexit Could Severely Disrupt EU27-UK Agro-Food Sector Trade”

Agro-Food Sector Effects of the Application of MFN Duties on EU27-UK Trade: An Area of Potential ACP Concern and Opportunity

 

Summary

If MFN duties are introduced on EU27-UK trade as a result of a failure to reach a new trade agreement this could disrupt existing ACP supply chains. However such a development could also present opportunities for ACP countries to expand their direct exports of value added products to the UK in sectors such as the cocoa sector.  Marketing adjustment and investment support however could be needed to enable ACP exporters to respond positively to the challenges which lie ahead. Read more “Agro-Food Sector Effects of the Application of MFN Duties on EU27-UK Trade: An Area of Potential ACP Concern and Opportunity”

Post Brexit port chaos could disrupt ACP Supply Chains to the UK via the Netherlands and Belgium

Summary

A consultancy report suggests significant additional logistical costs could arise on EU27-UK agro-food trade regardless of the final UK-EU27 tariff dispensation, as a result of the introduction of new customs controls. Depending on post-Brexit arrangements the cost effects range from additional transportation costs to a need to fundamentally rethink the import-export trade for perishable products. Given major ACP supply chain serve the UK market via other EU member states, this could profoundly disrupt the functioning of these supply chains, with fresh fruit, horticulture and floriculture exports via the Netherlands being most severely affected.  This requires a study to scope the scale of the problem and identify possible remedial measures and the creation of market repositioning support initiatives by both the EU28 and UK authorities. Read more “Post Brexit port chaos could disrupt ACP Supply Chains to the UK via the Netherlands and Belgium”

DIT SACU Discussions to Extend Current Access to the UK Market More than a Technical Exercise

Summary
During the July 2017 visit of UK Secretary of State Lord Price to Southern Africa a commitment was made to replicating current market access arrangements post-Brexit. However it remains unclear how this to be achieved. The transitional extension of existing reciprocal preferences could not only face serious opposition from WTO members but would be far from a simple ‘technical exercise’. New rules of origin which took account of the UK’s departure from the EU agreement would be essential, in order to establish which products qualified for ‘originating status as UK products. The alternative would amount to an absence of rules or origin. Either would be a substantive modification of the existing terms of the UK’s export trade. The future of Tariff rate Quota (TRQ) arrangements under the EU agreement would also need to be resolved in the immediate post Brexit period. Looking to the longer term, there are a multiplicity of non-tariff issues related to post-Brexit UK trade and agricultural policies which give rise to profound uncertainties over the future value of any post Brexit preferential trade arrangement with the UK for certain SACU members. Many of these uncertainties will need to be addressed before the future value of a bilateral trade deal with the UK can be fully assessed. Read more “DIT SACU Discussions to Extend Current Access to the UK Market More than a Technical Exercise”

Dominican Republic and West Africa lead way in growth in ACP Mango exports to the EU

 

Summary
ACP exports of mangoes to the EU have grown strongly, particularly since 2007, with further growth in EU consumer demand likely. While tariffs are not an issue in the mango sector, new trade agreements do appear to have boosted investment and facilitated expanded exports in both ACP and non-ACP countries in response to rising EU demand. Brexit is unlikely to pose any challenges for direct ACP mango exports to the UK, but could lead to problems if the absence of a UK-EU27 agreement, spills over into reduced cooperation on SPS and freight forwarding arrangements.  This is important in the mango sector given the role the Netherlands plays in the re-export trade across the EU, including to the UK. This issue needs to be closely monitored by those ACP exporters which are most likely to be affected. Read more “Dominican Republic and West Africa lead way in growth in ACP Mango exports to the EU”

Agriculture to be a Focus of the Renewed Africa-EU Partnership

Summary
Supporting African agro-food sector development given its employment, food security and rural development effects is nominally a focus of the proposed renewed Africa-EU partnership. However differences of opinion over what constitutes an appropriate ‘regulatory and policy framework’ for African agro-food sector development, alongside unacknowledged tensions between EU agro-food sector export objectives and African agro-food sector development aspirations, could pose serious challenges for a renewed Africa-EU partnership in this area.  Read more “Agriculture to be a Focus of the Renewed Africa-EU Partnership”

Surges in onion exports to Mauritania could close off longer term opportunities for Dutch exports

 

Summary
In a context where West Africa is the major destination for extra-EU Dutch onion exports, surges of Dutch onion exports to Mauritania are severely depressing local onion prices. This is in part linked to the closure of the Russian market. This could provoke trade restrictions in Mauritania in an effort to protect local onion producers. Any moves to restrict onion imports into Mauritania would need to be closely linked to targeted efforts to strengthen the functioning of local onion supply chains. Experience elsewhere in Africa, in a country facing similar environmental conditions, namely Namibia, could hold important lessons for Mauritanian onion sector trade policy. Read more “Surges in onion exports to Mauritania could close off longer term opportunities for Dutch exports”