European Union Pursues Sustainable Food Systems and Green Standards
In its free trade agreement (FTA) with India, the European Union has proposed separate chapters on sustainable food systems, energy, and raw materials.
On these topics, which have been added for the first time to India's trade accords, officials say vigorous negotiations are anticipated. The second round of negotiations is slated for September.
The EU stated that a sustainable food system is economically successful, socially beneficial, and has a positive or neutral effect on the natural environment (environmental sustainability), including climate change.
The EU has also proposed an annual action plan to track progress through the establishment of objectives and benchmarks.
"EU proposes that food systems should be profitable, but our Public Distribution System is not. India will have to safeguard its interests on PDS and minimum support price if such an obligation kicks in," said an expert on trade issues.
According to analysts, the EU's proposal to "reduce the use of antimicrobials, chemical pesticides, and fertilisers, improve animal welfare, and promote sustainable food production methods and practises, such as organic farming," may have an impact on India's exports of dairy products and meat.
In the chapter on energy raw materials, the EU states that the two parties "must not implement or retain any measure, including local content restrictions, harming the other party's products, service suppliers, investors, or enterprises" for the production of renewable energy.
Source: The Economic Times