What Does Ceta Bring to Organic Production?

Bojan Stipešević 1
  • 1 Faculty of Agrobiotechnical Sciences, J. J. Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia


Even though eco-production is based on principles brought by IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements), the standards which were brought in by the national and supranational governments may differentiate in parts of regulation. The mutual recognition/equivalence of eco-standards of the EU (»EU-eco« label, based on regulation of the European Commission EZ 834/2007: 139-and EZ 889/2008: 173-256, and other regulations derived from them) and Canada (»Canada organic« label, based on valid Canadian eco-standards, regulation CAN/CGSB-32.310-2015: 53 and CAN/CGSB-32.311-2015: 75) has been present for multiple years and has been re-evaluated and confirmed in 2015 as a successful practice in the increase of access to an expanded market for producers, increase of selection for consumers and lightening the regulatory cooperation. Before mutual recognition exported eco-product from Canada to the EU (and vice-versa) had to go through recertification, which created additional expenses for exporting eco-producers (10 thousand dollars per year, on average). This process mostly resulted in an increased price of eco-products for the end consumer. In some areas the Canadian eco-regulation is stricter than the EU one, while in other it is vice versa. Some markings can mislead the consumer, especially the one who does not read the product declaration where such misgivings are clearly visible and marked. The greatest challenge for eco-production in the EU is the increase in demand for eco-products with such a speed that EU farmers cannot satisfy it, which inevitably leads to an increase of import from non-EU countries. Therefore, the help of EU governments is essential in the form of support for farmers who decide to transition into eco-production. Certain estimates say that the CETA could mean a loss of a great number of producers (estimating that it could be several thousand workplaces in agriculture across the EU). A similar agreement between the US and Mexico already led to a loss of workplace for 2 million people in Mexico in the midst of inability to compete with the industrial production of the US. The greatest fear present in eco-production is that the international agricultural businesses can force national and supranational governments to lower standards by using lawsuits, which can consequentially result in lower standards in eco-production on both sides of the Atlantic and influence the environment. It is not based on the scientific/expert arguments which governs the ecological agriculture, but a pure race for profit. Therefore, it can be expected that, once again, »greed overcomes reason«. Nevertheless, the high set »bar« of eco-production »from both sides of the pond« is the best »defence« against the fear that CETA will bring any novelties into the life of eco-producers.

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