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Lydie Massard calls on more food autonomy ahead of the New Zealand agreement.

EFA MEP Lydie Massard intervened in plenary today to address the new EU-New Zealand agreement.

The agreement is the first EU Free Trade Agreement with a sanctions-based Sustainability chapter (TSD), that puts the Paris Agreement and ILO core conventions on equal footing with trade liberalisation provisions.

“The agreement between the European Union and New Zealand seems to mark a positive step forward. For the first time, binding environmental measures and greater respect for indigenous peoples are enshrined in the agreement.”

“ This is a strong message,” Lydie said. 

The Breton MEP took the opportunity to highlight the issues there are with this agreement and mentioned that food is not a comparable good that can be traded in the same way as the rest of goods and exports.

“The European Union was undeniably founded on the promise of peace and prosperity. However, recent events underline the need for Europe and its regions to aspire to food autonomy. It is an illusion to pretend that food can be traded as a simple commodity.” Lydie added.

MEP Massard explained how damaging it is to our European farming culture the pressure farmers are under to produce more and cheaper to be able to compete with other countries with laxer food regulations.

“Demanding that farmers produce less in order to promote mixed farming and that they produce better in order to promote small-scale farming, while at the same time encouraging food imports, is contradictory.” Lydie said.

Lydie Massard, EFA MEP, concluded her intervention by calling for more food autonomy and not more food dependency. 

“This agreement between the European Union and New Zealand should not simply replicate our existing trade model, but should instead promote an exceptional approach to food. It's not a question of setting aside all international trade, but rather of reorienting it in favour of diversity and our food autonomy.” 

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