The EU environment and oceans commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius has published an 80-page proposal to ban imports of cattle (beef), cocoa, coffee, oil palm, soya and wood/timber

The Commission can bring forward legislation but it has to secure approval by both the EU Parliament and EU political leaders through the council. If the legislation is approved, it will be the first step in matching EU ambitions for agriculture as outlined in the Farm to Fork strategy with EU trade policy, something that has been a long-standing grievance for EU farmers.

Despite COP26 committing to ending deforestation by 2030, any EU legislation will further frustrate approval and implementation of the Mercosur agreement. This was concluded in June 2019 but so far negligible progress has been made in the ratification process.

Ongoing deforestation in Brazil has created a strong backlash, particularly in the EU Parliament and this legislation will be a first step in bringing trade policy into line with agriculture policy in the EU.

Meanwhile, Brazil have asked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to intervene on the EU sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) rules for importing Brazilian chicken. Brazil claims the application by the EU of salmonella food safety criteria on fresh poultry meat and certain poultry meat preparations are inconsistent with provisions under the WTO rules.