TTIP or fostering the access to high-quality conventional wheat

US high-quality wheat

In the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) under negotiation between the EU and the US, flour negotiations must focus on fostering the historic access of European flour millers to conventional high-quality US Spring wheat.

Traces of non-conventional wheat

The current EU regulatory regime makes the placing on the market of any unauthorized GMO-containing food illegal and an offence.

Any cross-contaminated wheat, as well as the potential release of genetically modified wheat to the Spring Wheat markets, has always represented a very severe threat to the continuation of sales to European flour milling industry.

So far, our industry trusted that any initiative to develop GM wheat would be undertaken with full regard to the necessity to comply with all regulatory demand in the EU.

The competitiveness of the EU flour milling industry

The EU flour milling industry has always been producing on a relatively small scale compared to its US counterparts: the average US flour mill produces 13 times as much wheat flour as the average EU flour mill.

With the European flour milling sector facing increasingly acute pressure from third countries (Turkey, Kazakhstan) on traditional export markets, the low-level of capacity utilisation (65%) across the EU and a declining consumption of bread, the European Commission should continue to treat wheat flour as a highly-sensitive product requiring special treatment outside the trade liberalisation core of the TTIP.