NFO reports that at the end of June negotiators from the European Unions and the four Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) came to a trade agreement. The countries produce a lot of agrarian products. NFO president Gerard van den Anker finds this decision hard to swallow. "We are trying to become more sustainable in the Netherlands, we are working with useful insects and flowers and trying to innovate in the cultivation because we want to innovate. The government says that they want to move towards a sustainable chain of agriculture and has a Vision of Plant Health, because we want a greener sector. A trade agreement is then made with South American countries, which takes no consideration of the environment. The door is being opened for agrarian products that have nothing to do with sustainability and making the chain greener and will arrive on the market here at a lower cost price, whilst we have a rise cost price due to all of the regulations: that's unfair competition. If you want to work toward sustainability together, you have to keep the door closed to products that are no longer desirable." This topic is high on the NFO agenda. "We can't have the playing field become even more uneven in this manner."
The agreement is not yet in place. It could take another two or three years. First the EU member states (the ministers of trade), the national and regional parliaments and the European Parliament have to agree with the treaty.