Panellist Discussion on International Trade

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At the FEDIAF AGM in Rotterdam in June 2018, an expert panel discussion was held to discuss the importance of free trade, how to overcome zoonoses as trade barriers, how to achieve that the EU is seen as one trading block and how the pet food industry remains united despite the Brexit.

International Trade was the topic of the Academic Session during the 2018 FEDIAF AGM. A panel of five experts moderated by Victor Vlam held an animated discussion on the subject before breaking into groups with participants to continue the debate in more detail.

Panellists included:
• Diwakar Dixit from the World Trade Organisation (WTO)
• Dr Elzo Kannekens from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, The Netherlands
• Dr Matjaz Klemencic, European Commission, Directorate General Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE)
• Dr Monika Prenner, Chair of FEDIAF Feed Material and Trade Working Group
• John Williams, Chairman of the GAPFA Trade and Food Safety Working Group.

International trade is the movement of goods, services and capital across international borders or territories and for many countries it represents a substantial proportion of GDP. In 2017, EU pet food exports amounted to some € 1.2 billion while for the same period, imports into the EU reached a value of € 330 million. With growing competition and more mature markets within the EU, pet food manufacturers have to look to geographic expansion and digital channels to ensure sustainable growth. This compares to the US pet food industry exporting US$1.2 billion in value and importing US$602 million.