Petrini: “No future for quality local products under CETA.”

On February 15 the European Parliament was called upon to ratify—virtually without any debate—the free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada (CETA), signed on October 13 of last year. If the text (1,600 pages of clauses to be approved or rejected en masse) passes, much of CETA will come into force immediately, pending the votes of each national parliaments.

Opponents of the treaty collected 3.5 million signatures in just a few months and insist that everyone who has the future of small-scale agriculture and quality food production rejects the agreement. The treaty unfortunately will promote, defend and assert the interests of big industry, to the detriment of citizens and small producers.

In Europe today there are about 1,300 food products with geographical indication, 2,800 wines and 330 spirits. As it is framed today, the CETA would protect 173 of them. This means that denominations of origin that we are accustomed to considering as indicative of products with a strong link to a local area and a consolidated traditional production technique could be easily imitated overseas, without being subject to sanctions.

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