Early May, Mella Frewen, Director General of FoodDrinkEurope, accompanied EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan and a delegation of 60 EU agri-food producers and associations from 23 Member States in a high-level trade mission to Canada. The mission coincided with the opening of the SIAL Canada 2017 food exhibition where the EU featured as the region of honour. The programme for the business delegation consisted of different seminars and sessions on how to do business in Canada; the local market and culture, regulatory requirements and standards, etc. B2B matchmaking meetings brought together EU producers and Canadian buyers and networking opportunities with EU delegates and local authorities were organised.
On 2 May, Mella Frewen was invited to speak at a general information session on the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) prior to the official opening of SIAL Canada – in presence of Commissioner Hogan and Lawrence MacAulay, Canadian Minister of Agriculture. In her presentation ‘Road to success: CETA and the future of EU-Canada trade’, Ms Frewen explained the role and work of FoodDrinkEurope, presented key industry figures and trade flows, and in particular the achievements of CETA for EU food and drinks:
• Elimination of customs duties on a wide range of EU agri-food and drink products exported (> 90 % of Canada’s agricultural tariff lines to be removed)
• For wines and spirits, tariff liberalisation to be complemented by the removal of non-tariff barriers
• Protection of European Geographical Indications (GIs)
In parallel, FoodDrinkEurope issued a joint statement together with Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), in support of CETA and trade deals as catalysts for growth and jobs.
Considering the forthcoming implementation of CETA (date tbc), now is the time for operators to explore the new opportunities, study the market trends and entry requirements and for companies to complete a number of steps to benefit from preferential tariff treatment under CETA.
Later this year, Commissioner Hogan will pursue high-level missions to Iran and Saudi-Arabia.
View some highlights from Mella Frewen's presentation below