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CLARA MOSCHINI

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Export. Ceta, a great success

Assolatte celebrates the four years of the treaty

Exactly on 21 September 2017, CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada, entered into force. It was the first trade agreement entered into by the EU with another G7 country, and it immediately had a very ambitious scope. CETA has in fact provided for the most extensive tariff liberalization in the history of EU trade negotiations, binding provisions on the maintenance of high environmental and social standards, the liberalization of important sectors of the economy, as well as the elimination of non-tariff barriers and the protection of intellectual property.

“The most evident advantage for consumers and businesses has come from the reduction of duties - explains Paolo Zanetti, president of Assolatte. In particular, already with the entry into force 90% (Canada) and 92.2% (European Union) of the tariff lines on agricultural and agri-food products were liberalized”.

The dairy sector, Assolatte underlines, is a delicate area of the Agreement due to the presence of a strong local Canadian production. This did not prevent CETA from reserving an export quota for EU cheeses which provided for the entry into Canada, at zero duty, of an additional 17,700 tons per year, of which 16,000 for quality cheeses.

"Overall, compared to the pre-CETA, the EU quantities admitted under favorable conditions have more than doubled, reaching 31,900 tons - underlines Zanetti - and Italian companies have been able to fully seize this opportunity".

The data speak for themselves, Assolatte informs: in 2020 the export of Italian cheeses reached 7 thousand tons, with an increase of 35% on 2017, the year in which the agreement became operational. A significant progression that involved almost all categories of cheeses, starting with Mozzarella, which has grown 9 times, and Provolone (with an exploit of 232%). Considerable increases also for grated cheeses (37%), Asiago (28%), Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano (27%), other fresh cheeses (27%), Gorgonzola (25%) and Pecorino (11%).

Assolatte estimates suggest a new record also in 2021, given that the export of Italian cheeses to Canada is registering a growth rate of 5%.

"There are two other fundamental elements of the CETA agreement to underline - recalls the President of Assolatte - the first is the fight against Italian sounding, the second is the recognition and protection of the main European PDO and PGI denominations, where Italian cheeses do the lion's share. An aspect of no small importance, since Canada is traditionally foreign to this system of valorisation of origins".

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EFA News - European Food Agency
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