Copa and Cogeca take note of the provisional agreement announced today aiming at ensuring products causing deforestation are not sold in the EU. This agreement will now have to be formally adopted in the European Parliament and Council.
Copa and Cogeca consider that the exclusion of maize from its scope (the European Parliament proposed to include maize in the scope) and the deletion of the definition on sustainable harvesting operations’ (included in the initial proposal from the Commission) as important. As indicated in the Commission’s impact assessment, including maize in the scope of the regulation would have required a considerable amount of effort and caused financial and administrative burdens with limited returns in terms of curbing deforestation driven by EU consumption. At a time when we are confronted with a series of crisis in the agri-food markets at EU level and internationally, and with cereal and liv estockproducers under pressure, further increasing the financial and administrative burden on them would have been unacceptable.
Concerning the definitions present in the provisional agreement, Copa and Cogeca welcome that the deal included setting a definition for deforestation based on FAO’s approach. However, there are still some concerns on the definition of “forest degradation”. Member States will need to further discuss the new definition proposed and analyse the impact that this could have at EU level.
The implementation of this regulation should not put at risk the competitiveness of the EU agri- food (mainly livestock) and forestry sectors nor disrupt the supply of raw materials. Therefore, the Commission will need to analyse and address the impact on these aspects with the first review of the regulation. In addition, the commodity-specific guidelines that will be prepared by the Commission, with relev ant stakeholders, could help in clarifying the due diligence responsibilities and traceability rules.
Finally, Copa and Cogeca believe it is crucial to reinforce the role of local communities and to support agriculture productivity, to include and promote strong partnerships and cooperation with concrete tools to improve the sustainable management of land, including ownership of land, and forest and biodiv ersity conserv ation. This should continue to be one of the key objectives for the Commission in addressing root causes of deforestation.
Artigo publicado originalmente em Copa Cogeca.