Market, Trade and Agricultural Policy
COCERAL strives to open market access for safe, sustainable and affordable agricultural products. Our goal is to strike that optimal balance between a legislative framework that protect consumers, the environment, workers and animals, still enabling free and workable trade.
The European Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) has taken a market-oriented approach since some decades. If this has changed substantially the focus of an association like COCERAL, it is certain that market management measures still cover an important part of our daily business.
COCERAL monitors the periodical calculation of import duties for cereals, the fixing and allocation of tariff rate quotas and the opening of intervention, when applicable.
Trade agreements are milestones in enhancing trade relations between the European Union and its commercial partners. COCERAL contributes regularly during the course of the negotiations highlighting the needs of the EU agricultural markets and how these can be addressed most effectively in the agreement. Today the most concerning issues affecting trade relations are non-tariff trade barriers, constituted mostly by sanitary and phytosanitary regulations, and more increasingly by sustainability requirements.
The European Union has been a forerunner in mandating a set of criteria on environmental sustainability for biofuels. The collectors and traders of raw material not only have to respect the criteria but have the critical role of transmitting the sustainability information along the supply chain. Clear and EU-harmonised rules are essentials to avoid jeopardising the supply of biofuel feedstock in Europe. COCERAL is also looking at sustainability for all the agricultural market outlets, including food and feed, as the European institutions are increasingly paying attention to these issues, as well as the rest of the supply chain.
Trade of agricultural products requires hedging the risks related to the physical business. Members of COCERAL make use of financial instruments as essential tools to protect their activities as well as those of their suppliers and customers, e.g. farmers and crushers. Financial instruments are essential for the well-functioning of the agricultural commodity markets and they contribute to managing price volatility.