Building Bridges with our Global Partners - Some Important Steps Forward for EU Agriculture

Source: Ph. (Phil) Hogan i, published on Friday, April 8 2016.

Today I met with counterparts from around the world at the OECD in Paris. I delivered a speech this morning on "Better Policies to Achieve a Productive and Sustainable Global Food System” .

Meetings such as the OECD Ministerial are extremely useful for pursuing the EU's priority issues with our partners from around the globe. They also afford an opportunity to make progress on the Agri-food exports agenda by making progress on removing barriers to trade for our EU producers.

I met with the Ministers of Agriculture from both Canada and Chile to strike deals on organic farming. After fruitful discussions with Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay - a potato and dairy farmer from Prince Edward Island - I am happy to announce that certified EU organic wine trade can now be sold on the Canadian market.

I also met with Chilean Agriculture Minister Carlos Furche to strike an important new agreement with Chile on the trade of organic products - the first next-generation deal of its kind and the first bilateral recognition with a Latin American country. This deal will pave the way for other agreements in trade in organic products, thus providing a strong foundation for the development of the organic sector. This will benefit a growing EU sector and support jobs and growth. Following on from my meeting with Minister Furche, I am also hopeful for progress in exports to Chile of beef, fruit and veg.

I met with senior Mexican officials following up on my "diplomatic offensive" to Mexico in February. This is a relationship with real potential which is already beginning to deliver results for our farmers - Mexico has just approved Spanish pigmeat producers for export, and France should follow soon.

I had further productive exchanges with New Zealand Minister for Agriculture Nathan Guy and Deputy Minister Albatshan of Saudi Arabia. Overall, the OECD ministerial provided an excellent opportunity to take stock of where we stand in our shared efforts to build meaningful international cooperation in agriculture policy.

There was good news in Brussels earlier in the week when the Commission added new products to our origin product (GI) registers of Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) and of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). From Austria, ' Heumilch' (TSG) is cow's milk produced traditionally from animals not being fed fermented fodder or 'genetically modified' feed. I had the honour of presenting the official certificate for 'Pane Toscano' (PDO), a bread made following a typical method in Tuscany, to President of Tuscany Enrico Rossi .

A final word on the OECD Ministerial: I wish to offer my sincere thanks to Co-Chairs, French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll and US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for their great work in leading a stimulating two days. It was a great pleasure to engage with OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, Deputy Secretary General Mari Kiviniemi and all the officials at the OECD who organised a very successful event. I look forward to further expanding on the themes outlined in my speech soon.


With Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay.


With the Secretary-General of the OECD Angel Gurría.