The Association of the Chocolate, Biscuits & Confectionery Industries of Europe (CAOBISCO) has expressed it was highly concerned that a balanced trade agreement between the EU and UK could be jeopardized, considering the current advancement of the negotiations and the COVID-19 crisis. They call on the EU and UK authorities to extend the transition agreement as long as it is necessary.
“A no-deal BREXIT or a bad deal as of 2021 would be hugely detrimental to our industry, and the whole food supply chain with a significant decrease in EU exports and revenue coupled with more important job losses. We are hopeful that in order to preserve business activities between the EU and the UK, a balanced and ambitious trade agreement with appropriate product-specific rules of origin, will be implemented as of day ONE of the end of the transition period,” is said in a press release.
CAOBISCO products (confectionery, chocolate and fine bakery wares) are the top food and drink products traded with the UK (total trade represents more than EUR6bn per year). Biscuits/pastries and chocolate are respectively the second and third most valuable group of food exports from the EU to the UK, and the second and fourth most valuable food imports to the EU from the UK.
CAOBISCO says that EU negotiators should maintain free trade between the UK and EU27 in the future, preserving trade from any tariff and non-tariff barriers. The Free Trade Agreement should also uphold long-term growth for the sector through investment, stability and the same standards of hygiene, safety and quality in order to ensure the continued competitiveness in the EU27 and the UK.
“The Free Trade Agreement between the EU27 and the UK must also ensure tariff- and quota-free trade for CAOBISCO products and its agricultural ingredients (sugar, dairy, cereals, cocoa, dried fruits and nuts), in order to continue to operate in Europe,” the organization concludes.