European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

Social justice instead of boundless liberalisation – towards a sustainable EU trade policy


On 15 September 2016 in Brussels at the civil dialogue group meeting on “International aspects of agricultural policy”, a delegation of agricultural worker unions affiliated to EFFAT highlighted the threats to jobs for agricultural workers and the dismantling of social protection caused by EU trade policy.

Up to 100,000 jobs in cattle-producing plants in Europe are endangered by the current TTIP negotiations. No information is available so far regarding the impact on other sectors. The fruit and vegetables chain, with more than two million workers employed in the EU, is also a sensitive sector. Yet the jobs of about 10 million agricultural workers are of little importance in the proposals put forward by the European Commission. “The persons concerned are experiencing first-hand how the winners of globalisation fill their pockets while no real adaptation measures are granted to the victims of globalisation. The feeling of being on the losers’ side stirs up Europe-scepticism and jeopardises social cohesion in Europe” stated EFFAT Agriculture Secretary Arnd SPAHN. EFFAT Agriculture President Antonio Perianes therefore demands the implementation of a concept for a sustainable trade policy, which will help not only the economy but also people and the environment. EFFAT would like to contribute to the implementation of this concept.

The background of the debate were talks on “Agriculture and international trade policy” between the Directorate-General for Agriculture at the European Commission and around 70 representatives from various social areas. EFFAT presented its position on the major current trading activities of the EU (CETA, TTIP and Mercosur) and focused on the impact of these negotiations on social standards, employment and political consequence


For more information:

Arnd Spahn
EFFAT Agricultural Political Secretary

EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.