EU agricultural trade, for example in the form of soy imports and/or exports of cheap meat, milk or cereals, has harmed the sustainable development of agricultural production in developing countries. The rules laid down by WTO and in bilateral agreements do not offer governments and agricultural producers in the Global South sufficient opportunities to manage both consumer needs and market opportunities for smallholders in an environmentally and economically feasible way. The announcement of the end of the Doha development round at the WTO demonstrates the lack of interest of developed nations in reforming the agricultural agreement. In bilateral treaties with the EU (e.g. EPAs, Mercosur, etc.), the chapters on sustainability and development have no mechanism for their implementation. Global agricultural relations necessitate their own new multilateral trade regime under the umbrella of the United Nations, which, for example, shall take both Agenda 2030 and the Paris climate targets into account in a self-evident and binding manner. The same must apply to the biodiversity goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Ideas will be discussed as to how sustainable agricultural trade relations could be fleshed out so that they benefit the millions of small-scale producers, protect regional markets and still promote fair opportunities on international markets.
Bread for the World
German Forum on Environment and Development