Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements
AGRICULTURE NEGOTIATIONS: BACKGROUNDER

Phase 1:

Animal welfare and food quality

Two new issues which have not specifically been written into the Agriculture Agreement have been the subject of proposals submitted in 2000.

One deals with animal welfare, and includes the idea of compensating farmers for the extra costs they bear when they are required to meet higher standards of animal welfare. Under the proposal, these payments would be in the green box of permitted domestic support. The debate has partly been about whether this would be at the expense of human welfare, particularly in poorer countries.

A separate proposal on food quality deals with reserving the right to produce food of specific characteristics associated with specific localities. The debate is linked to the discussion in the TRIPS (intellectual property) Council on geographical indications. Countries opposing the discussion argue that it should be handled in other WTO committees such as the TRIPS Council and the Technical Barriers to Trade Committee.

 

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Proposals on animal welfare and food quality submitted in Phase 1  

  • EU: food quality: improvement of market access opportunities G/AG/NG/W/18
  • EU: animal welfare and trade in agriculture G/AG/NG/W/19
  • EU: (part of) comprehensive negotiating proposal G/AG/NG/W/90

 

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