Article: The Impact of CETA on EU Agri-Food Trade with Canada

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union (EU) and Canada, was provisionally applied on September 21, 2017. This agreement will create trade opportunities in many sectors, including the agri-food sector.

New opportunities for EU agri-food businesses will result from the progressive elimination of duties for 91% of all Canadian agricultural tariff lines. Increased access to the Canadian market has been granted for many of the main EU agricultural exports including: wines and spirits, soft drinks, chocolate, biscuits, confectionery, cereals-based products, pasta, fruit and edible preparations. Moreover, 143 highly distinctive European food and beverage products that hold a geographical indication (GI), such as Greek Kalamata olives, Austrian Tiroler Speck and Dutch Gouda cheese are now officially recognized and protected in Canada[1].

In 2017, Canada remained the EU’s 10th largest agri-food export destination and agri-food exports to Canada have been growing.[2] Benefits from the agreement are already been seen by member states. For example, in the first 3 months of CETA’s provisional implementation, Italy registered a 9% increase in agri-food exports to Canada. Similarly, France, in a year of modest wine production, registered a 5% increase in exports of GI wine. CETA also represents a significant opportunity for EU exporters of cheese and certain dairy products. Canada has agreed to double the bilateral tariff rate quota (TRQ) on cheese imports from the EU by raising it to 32 000 tons.

Some critics of the agreement had expressed concern about a potential influx into the EU of genetically modified (GM) products. It is important to note that despite the liberalization of beef by the EU, Canadian exports remain low. Moreover, under CETA, many GM products have not been approved by EU regulatory agencies and any that are will be subject to EU food labelling requirements. The EU will also continue to enforce its directive against the use of growth promoters and require slaughtering to be conducted in EU-approved facilities.[3]

Despite the fact that CETA has only been provisionally in force for a couple of months, early indications show that the agreement is already providing new business opportunities for EU exporters and certain EU enterprises have already started to reap the benefits.


[1] A list of the GIs recognized in Canada could be found here:

[2] Source: European Commission.(

[3] EU Directive 96/22/EC as amended by Directive 2003/74/EC.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]