The German Farmers' Association is concerned about the consequences that the EU's planned trade agreement with the South American Mercosur countries could have. "German agriculture would be particularly affected by additional import pressure for meat and sugar. The Mercosur agreement is a major threat to farmers who keep pigs, poultry and cattle," said Farmers' President Joachim Rukwied of the "Rheinische Post".
Rukwied demanded that EU standards for the use of pesticides or animal welfare should also apply to imports. "If South America then does not comply with these standards, the EU must be able to stop imports. In any case, general commitments to more sustainability in trade are not enough," he added. "The Mercosur agreement must not come about like this. It has to be renegotiated," said the farmer's president.
Most recently, during a visit to Brazil at the end of January, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) expressed his confidence that the free trade agreement between the Mercosur confederation of states and the European Union would soon be concluded. The EU has been negotiating with Mercosur - which includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay - since 1999 over the deal that would create one of the largest free trade areas in the world with more than 700 million people.