Cairns Group Farm Leaders and Ministers as One
4 April 2005
Today the Cairns Group Ministers have committed to ensure all World Trade Organisation (WTO) members maintain the high level of ambition for agricultural trade reform as agreed to in Doha, in 2001 when the Round was launched, said Chair of the Cairns Group Farm Leaders Forum (CGFL), and National Farmers´ Federation President, Mr Peter Corish.
Mr Corish recently chaired the 10th Meeting of the CGFL Forum in Cartagena, Colombia, held to coincide with the 27th Ministerial Meeting of the Cairns Group.
"A significant outcome of the CGFL meeting is the inclusion of all key points of our Farm Leaders Chairman's Statement in the Ministerial communiqué." Mr Corish said.
- "Farm Leaders called for delivery on what we were promised when the Round was launched in 2001, and Ministers have reaffirmed their commitment.
- "Farm Leaders called for immediate elimination of all export subsidies and Ministers have called for an end date to be agreed quickly.
- "Farm Leaders called for substantial market access improvements on all products to create new trade opportunities and Ministers have endorsed our position.
- "On domestic support, Farm Leaders called for substantial reductions in the actual amount of money being spent on trade distorting subsidies, and Ministers again reaffirmed their commitment to achieving this."
While in Cartagena, Mr Corish chaired a number of significant meetings between representatives of the Farm Leaders Forum and Ministers and delivered the strong message that farmers would not accept a limited outcome from this Round.
"Cairns Group farmers will judge this Round on how many new trading opportunities it creates." Mr Corish said.
Farm Leaders held constructive meetings with Mariann Fischer Boel, the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Mike Johanns, the United States Secretary of Agriculture, Andy Mitchell, the Canadian Minister for Agriculture and Jim Sutton the New Zealand Minister for Trade and Agriculture.
A number of key Senior Trade Officials also met with Farm Leaders, including the Chair of the WTO Agriculture negotiations, Ambassador Tim Groser.
Mr Corish also welcomed the support and commitment of the Australian Trade Minister, Mark Vaile who spent a significant amount of time consulting farm leaders.
Media Inquiries: Emma Keogh, Public Relations Officer (NFF) – 02/ 6273 3855 or 0419 462 550
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9/12/2005 Media Alert - Cairns Group Farm Leaders Hong Kong Meeting and Media Conference
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31/3/2005 Farm Leaders Call On WTO To Deliver For Farmers