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TTIP talks: What’s cooking?: Perspectives on food & farming

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Greens/EFA in the European Parliament | 14.11.2014

TTIP talks: What’s cooking?: Perspectives on food & farming

EVENT Public conference
DATE 10 December 2014 from 15:00 to 18:00
PLACE European Parliament Brussels
Room PHS 3C50

Register online now

In the first event of its kind, the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament with the support of civil society and farmers’ organisations from both sides of the Atlantic, is pleased to invite you to a conference on the impacts of a potential EU-US trade agreement (TTIP) on food and farming.

With invited speakers from the food and farming sectors and civil society, and invited respondents from the European Commission, this conference promises to be an open and frank debate on TTIP and its potential consequences on food safety standards, consumer rights, animal welfare and the wider impact on rural areas.

With much of the debate on TTIP focusing on questions relating to food, we want to examine in further detail:

- How can such differing standards for food and farming be harmonised without a serious compromise on the European side?
- Will TTIP lead to the further industrialisation of agriculture in Europe?
- Who benefits from the deal? Agri-businesses or farmers?
- How can we maintain a high level of transparency and traceability for European consumers?
- How a lack of transparency in the negotiations themselves is doing nothing to stem public fears that the TTIP negotiations could already be watering down key rules and standards for food and farming.

OBJECTIVES:

Share information and raise awareness about concerns how TTIP could water down key rules and standards for food and farming and how fierce competition from agrobusiness would undermine ecological robust forms of agriculture and small scale farmers. To make clear that the constant reassurance by the EC that EU food laws or standards will not be changed, are not to be trusted. Simply because cheaper production methods in US will compete heavily with EU production.

Make food and farming to a more prominent issue in the Brussels TTIP debate
Make clear that EU agriculture and food production needs to chose course: further intensification and industrialisation USA-style or more a more robust sustainable and socio-economic viable path.

Target groups
MEPs, civil society, permanent presentations, EC and Council-officials, journalists, public (via live webstreaming)

Organisers
5 Green MEPs (Staes, Lamberts, Bové, Javor and Keller) plus civil society and farming groups: FoEE, EuroCoop, EMB, Slowfood, Compassion in World Farming, Arc2020, ECVC, CEO,

Format
3 hrs: with 3 panels of 4 Short contributions followed by debate

What is our angle?
Overarching topic: How can DG Trade say there will be no lowering of EU standards, if EU and US diplomats negotiate on harmonisation and mutual recognition? "Right to choose" vs "priority for increasing transatlantic trade". Also "unfair - no level playing field - economical competition" because of "cheaper industrial food production" vs "agriculture bound to minimal ecologic and animal welfare standards".

Possible topics for the sessions
- Lowering food, farming, consumers standards
- Impact on Food consumption patterns and diets
- Precautionary principle and Procedures how products are assessed in EU, risk management and controls on trade.
- GMO optout (on EP agenda), allow GM contamination in food
- Impact on livestock sector, dairy farmers and animal welfare, rules slaughterhouses, controls in food chain
- Impact on smaller scale farms and jobs in EU agriculture and the food sector

DRAFT PROGRAMME

15.05: Welcome word by Ska Keller – general concerns about TTIP

15.10: Keynote speech

15.20: start First panel, moderated by José Bové

TTIP – TRADING AWAY GOOD FOOD AND FARMING

Short, 5 min contributions (key concerns/problems) from:

Objective: general overview major concerns for consumers, farmers and food producers

FoEE, Magda Stoczkiewicz, director (precautionary principle, food safety differences EU-US, more rights for corporations)
IATP, Karen Hansen-Kuhn (US-EU perspective) (via video in Washington)
Sharon Treat (US State politician)- TBC
EuroCoop, Todor Ivanov. Secretary General (tbc) (on consumers rights, labeling and high food safety standards)
15.50: Response from EC official Cabinet trade AND US Agri diplomat.

16.00: Debate / Q&A

16.20: Start Second Panel moderated by Bart Staes:

HARMONIZING RULES AND STANDARDS – A RACE TO THE BOTTOM?

Objective: clear examples about different standards applied in EU and US

Short 5 minute contributions (key concerns/problems) from:

Compassion in World Farming, Olga Kikou (animal welfare issues)
Client Earth, Vito Buonsante (pesticides and chemicals in food)
Director FVO on controls and inspections - TBC
16.45: response from EC official/commissioner DG SANCO, or Cabinet

16.55: Debate / Q&A

17.15: start Third panel, moderated by Benedek Javor

TTIP: SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACT ON FOOD AND FARMING

Objective: Who benefits in the farming sector, who is losing and impacts on working conditions

Short 5 minute contributions (key concerns/problems) from:

Via Campesina, Hanny van Geel
EMB, Sieta Vankeimpema, Vice-Chair
Robert Marshall Pederson - Food Policy expert Aalborg University, Arc2020
Effat or academic (TBC)
17.40: Response from EC official/ DG AGRI

17.50: Concluding remarks by Philippe Lamberts

18.00: End

More information:

Nelly Baltide
Food campaigner
nelly.baltide@europarl.europa.eu
Tel. Brussels +32-2-2832576
Tel. Strasbourg +33-3-88173504
Fax Strasbourg +33-3-88352777


 source: Greens/EFA