Agricultural sector must not become a reason for wavering support to Ukraine – Commission needs to find constructive solutions to address the impacts of trade liberalization


Today, our six associations representing producers and manufacturers from the sugar, cereals/oilseeds, poultry meat and eggs sectors met with Commissioner Wojciechowski to express their strong concerns regarding the unlimited imports from Ukraine, and to suggest possible constructive solutions for managing the flows in the future.

What is happening in Ukraine is intolerable and as the EU it is our duty and our interest to continue supporting them. We thus, as producers, are ready to continue doing our part in the EU efforts to help Ukraine. Unfortunately, we believe that this effort is currently inequitably shared, with the agricultural sector bearing a disproportionate and unsustainable burden. We fear that if the Autonomous Trade Measures (ATMs) mechanism with Ukraine is maintained in its current form, with no adaptation, the survival of EU producers in general, and especially for the cereals, oilseeds, poultry, eggs, and sugar sectors, will be at stake as will be the unwavering support to Ukraine. We do not want to be the reason of discord and the wavering of such support; hence, we aim at proposing and finding constructive solutions that can aid farmers on both sides and provide a working arrangement.

We also believe that it is essential to propose an EU level solution to this issue to preserve EU unity and the integrity of the EU Single Market.

We therefore call for the following measures to be considered by the European Commission, the Council, and the Parliament in their discussion on the renewal of the ATMs:
1. Reinforced international efforts to facilitate the flow of goods from the Black Sea ports so that they once again become the main export channel.
2. Additional investments to improve logistics and infrastructure to enable the Solidarity Lanes to function properly and increase their number so that goods can flow easily to where they are needed.
3. Additional efforts to ensure that the products entering the internal market comply with the required phytosanitary standards, animal welfares standards and use of antimicrobials by reinforcing border controls.
4. Creation of a system to make sure that the destination for all consignments of Ukrainian agricultural products is determined prior to entry into the EU.
5. Introduction of a system to guarantee that the Ukrainian products reach this destination determined prior entry in the EU and do not end up elsewhere, for example through the use of a deposit system.
6. Introduction of import thresholds for sensitive agricultural commodities covered by the six associations and subject to trade liberalisation which is based on the yearly average for the combined years 2021 and 2022. Any products imported above this threshold should be required to be exported outside the EU, and thus for transit only inside the EU market. The measurement of quantities would be based on DG TAXUD’s surveillance system.

We believe that these mechanisms are a constructive way forward to maintain trade flows, protect EU producers, help Ukrainian producers to diversify their exports, re-establish old trading routes and limit their dependency to the EU market.

On behalf of the following associations:
AVEC – Association of Poultry Processors and Poultry Trade in the EU countries
CEFS – European Association of Sugar Manufacturers
CEPM – European Confederation of Maize Production
CIBE – International Confederation of European Beet Growers
COPA-COGECA – the united voice of farmers and their cooperatives in the European Union
EUWEP – European Union of Wholesale with Eggs, Egg Products, Poultry and Game