TRADE AND MARKET I NG New practical impetus for European trade at the Europatat conference With the provocative slogan ‘Making the European Potato Trade great again! (it’s gonna be huge, it’s gonna be great, it’s true!)’ Europatat has given a new and unconventional practical impetus to the importance of healthy European trade at the annual conference that took place in Antwerp on 16 June. T he objective of the European potato trade organisation Europatat is to improve the commercial and international activities of the potato trade. To this end, the organisation wants to protect professional interests and the commercial position of the trading companies both within Europe and worldwide. These interests have increased considerably in recent years due to the increasingly influential and complex nature of European legislation. In line with this objective, together with the Belgian potato trading organisation Belgapom, Europatat organised a major conference in Antwerp. The purpose of the conference was to give European trade practical tools on how to deal with Europe’s increasingly important role. That’s why the day began with a keynote speech by Harry Arijs of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE). The Belgian civil servant Lieven van Herzele then gave an example of how the Belgian authorities are dealing with the new rules. After that, Lene Naesager of the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG-AGRI) gave extensive consideration to the possibilities of European subsidies for the promotion of potatoes in Europe. As the last speaker, Cedric Porter from the British World Markets showed the more than 300 delegates the consequences of Brexit for the European potato chain. New EU legislation has major consequences In addition to Europe’s greater role in European trade, Belgapom secretary Romain Cools states in his opening remarks that protectionism is on the increase worldwide. He mentions Brexit as an example of this. He also points out that there is a clear trend towards scale enlargement in Europe. ‘The number of potato buyers, both in the processing industry and the retail trade, continues to grow. At the same time, the consumption of fresh table potatoes is decreasing. There is also a challenge in the area of plant health. Climate change has a major impact on cultivation, and the European government’s greening policy is putting great pressure on chemical crop protection agents. We notice this in the discussions on the consequences of withdrawing a number of neonicotinoids and also ‘When a Q-organism has been identified, spreading of information is then the next important action point for the sector’, explains Harry Arijs of DG SANTE. an active ingredient such as thiabendazole. Moreover, the attitude of the Commission, the European Parliament, and many Member States has also shown that it is gradually becoming impossible to keep these (and other) chemicals on the market. This again increases the call for more resistance to be built in with the use of new techniques’, Romain Cools felt. Arijs then talks the listeners through the regulations about the new European plant health legislation that must be operational on 14 December 2019. He says that future European legislation will have four cornerstones. These are sustainable cultivation, food safety and food security with assurances that economic growth can continue to take place in Europe. The fourth point is the protection of the environment and the living environment of citizens. ‘An important element of the new law is to protect European agriculture from both existing and new diseases’, Arijs explains. To this end, DG-SANTE intends to scan both the incoming and European trade flows in order to ensure the early detection of problems. As a result, Arijs expects that the EU can better protect its borders and prevent the emergence of new diseases. Should this happen anyway, actions can be taken immediately to prevent further spreading. ‘It’s important here that we continue to guarantee the free movement of arable products in terms of imports into the EU’, Arijs emphaPotato World 2017 • number 4 41 Pagina 40

Pagina 42

Heeft u een catalogus, turn pages of digi handleidingen? Gebruik Online Touch: uitgave online maken.

Potatoworld 2017/4 Lees publicatie 46Home

You need flash player to view this online publication