According to internal documents consulted by “Le Monde”, the European Federation of Trade Unions and Agricultural Cooperatives has initiated an intense campaign against Brussels’ reforms.
The agro-industry wants to derail the European strategy “from the farmhouse” (“Farm to Fork”), the agricultural component of the Green Pact (Green Deal) announced in December 2019 by the President of the Commission European, Ursula von der Leyen. Several internal documents of the Committee of Agricultural Professional Organizations of the European Union (COPA-COGECA), of which Le Monde obtained a copy, highlight the “red lines” considered to be crossed by the European project.
These documents also detail lobbying maneuvers being deployed, intended to obtain the withdrawal of key provisions of the text. In particular, COPA-COGECA plans to use its partnerships with the online newspaper of European news EurActiv to weigh on public discussion. Online with a focus: the parliamentary debate and the vote of the text, in plenary session, scheduled for October 21, and that COPA-COGECA hopes to see postponed in November in order to have more time to weigh on the public debate .
The “red lines” of COPA-COGECA are various. The first, defined as crucial, concerns the objectives, binding, decline in the use of pesticides and antibiotics in livestock (50% reduction by 2030), as well as those relating to the reduction of fertilizers – The ambition is 50% drop in nutrient leaks, major sources of pollution with nitrates and proliferation of green algae. According to its internal documents, COPA-COGECA wants these objectives to be removed from the text.
That’s not all. In the state, the European agricultural strategy highlights the risks of the emergence of zoonoses (communicable diseases between humans and animals) presented by industrial farms that concentrate in the same vessels of similar genotype animals. The text calls for the gradual abandonment of these practices: COPA-COGECA refuses this mention.
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The tension points do not only concern production methods but also the marketing of products from agriculture. The COPA-COGECA thus wishes to exclude any measurement to set maximum rates of sugars, grease and salt in processed foods. In the viewfinder, also, the provisions to inform consumers about the nutritional qualities of food products, on the origin of agricultural products used, on durability and production methods or on animal welfare.
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