This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries. Subscribe on line to the weekly e-newsletter.
Wednesday, 17 January 2007
The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has made available certified reference materials for the analysis of genetically modified (GM) cotton and sugar beet. The release of the two new materials, together with a set of starch-modified potato materials introduced earlier this year, brings the number of certified GMO reference materials to 14 provided by the JRC's Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) located in Geel, Belgium.
Tuesday, 16 January 2007
The ACP Group of Experts responsible for Rules of Origin will meet in Brussels, Belgium, on 25 and 26 January 2007. The main purpose of the meeting is to examine a draft protocol on Rules of Origin that could be used in the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). At that meeting, each negotiating region will give a presentation on how it plans to address the issue of rules of origin for sea fish products, given their specific characteristics. It is expected that the ensuing discussions will enable the participants to reach an agreement on the criteria required for those products to be classified as originating products. Prior to the examination of the draft protocol, the European Commission will give a presentation on the progress of work concerning the reform of the rules of origin to be used in the framework of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).
The European Commission has begun talks with Indonesia aimed at curbing logging in rainforests and stopping the flow of illegal timber into Europe. Talks also began on agreements with Malaysia in September and with Ghana last December. The Commission said it hoped to open talks with Cameroon, Liberia, Gabon, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo. While NGOs see such bilateral deals as important in encouraging countries to stop illegal logging, they say the EU must end the importation of all illegally logged timber into Europe.
The Launch of the Film "Chicken Madness" EU-Africa was hosted at the European Parliament on 10th January. Issues covered in the film inlcude: Europe’s chicken surpluses shipped to Africa for fast food, frozen poultry meat at dumping prices in Central Africa, spoiled chicken leftovers frequently sold because of a lack of cold storage and refrigerators. Cameroon poultry farmers simply cannot compete with Europe. It’s called globalisation. Chicken is the showpiece of industrialised agriculture and the global food trade. The harmful consequences of this key product of globalisation are shown in this film, to clarify the criticism long levelled at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The production of this film was supported by EEd, ACDIC, SOS Faim, Brot für die Welt, ICCO, Norwegian Church Aid and APRODEV. The debate was introduced by Mr Carl Schlyter, Member of the European Parliament. The film producer Marcello Faraggi and Mr Bernard Njonga, President of Citizens Association for the Defense of Collective Interests (Cameroon), were invited to present the film.