The European food industry is now highlighting concerns about the looming deadline of the EUDR, gaining coverage in the Financial Times. The EUDR is scheduled to take effect at the end of 2024.

In addition to the concerns of commodity exporters, European importers and manufacturers are currently attempting to prepare for these regulations. Complications include the absence of a finalized list of ‘high-risk’ countries, from which exports will be subjected to additional extra checks.

Indonesia has been pushing the European Union to not place it under a ‘high-risk’ categorisation, citing historically low deforestation rates and long-term commitments to environmental cooperation.

Speaking to the FT, representatives from the food sector, including Nathalie Lecocq of Fediol and companies like Louis Dreyfus Company, are calling for clearer guidelines well in advance of the December 2024 deadline. They argue that significant investments and preparations are necessary to meet these requirements, and such efforts cannot be delayed until the last minute.

The level of strictness in enforcing these new rules remains unclear, causing hesitation among companies about how stringent their compliance efforts need to be.

Food manufacturers and retailers are seeking to incorporate clauses in their contracts with traders regarding who will bear the cost of fines for non-compliance. These fines could be as high as 4 percent of annual turnover.

The article notes that the additional cost on European consumers is also becoming apparent. There remains the possibility of a higher-priced EU-bound sector. This is symptomatic of a broader push-back against the EU’s Green Deal policies on EU land use, which are also being objected to by the bloc’s farmers.

[Read the full Financial Times article here].