Austrian Agriculture Minister Josef Proell said Europe should not be making another new offer on cutting farm import tariffs to secure a wider World Trade Organization deal because it had previously put forward its proposals for the WTO's global trade round, saying Europe had reached its limit. He said this during an informal meeting of EU farm ministers.
This comes as a warning to the bloc' trade chief Peter Mandelson who had earlier this month said the bloc could enhance its offer in the sensitive area of farm trade, on condition other key WTO players also make concessions.
Finnish Agriculture Minister Juha Korkeaoja said "Today is not the time for that (new farm offer). We have more or less reached the limit of where we can go." A further EU concession on farm policy would put at risk the entire Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), according to the French Agriculture Minister Dominique Bussereau speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the ministers' meeting.
Source: South African Meat Industry Company (SAMIC)