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Senior US trade officials add to calls for EUDR delay

The US commerce, agriculture and trade representatives have jointly written to the European Commission calling for a delay to incoming EUDR regulations due to ‘critical challenges’ posed for the US timber, paper and pulp industries

A coffee farm in Hawaii | Photo credit: Clint McKoy


Three senior US trade officials have jointly called on the European Union to delay EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), which is due to come into force on 30 December 2024. 

In a letter to the European Commission seen by The Financial Times, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, US Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the law posed ‘critical challenges’ to US producers – particularly in the timber, paper and pulp industries.  

EUDR will require businesses importing products to the EU considered ‘main drivers for deforestation’ – including coffee, cocoa, palm oil, paper and wood – to produce a due diligence statement that imports have not contributed to forest degradation anywhere in the world after 31 December 2020. 

“We urge the European Commission to delay the implementation of this regulation and subsequent enforcement of penalties until these substantial challenges have been addressed,” the letter said. Meanwhile, the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) said current EUDR laws would impose ‘unachievable requirements’ and ‘significant technical barriers’ on producers that put US-EU trade at risk. 

While the latest US objections to EUDR do not explicitly focus on coffee, pressure on the EU to delay or scale back the legislation could have significant ramifications for coffee businesses in both producing and consuming countries.  


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Alongside higher administration and import fees, there is growing coffee industry concern relating to the cost and availability of satellite and data systems needed to be compliant with EUDR.

Additionally, major coffee organisations believe the legislation in its current form will restrict smaller coffee producing nations in Africa and Asia from accessing the EU market and cause significant disruption to coffee supply chains. 

The European Coffee Federation (ECF) and International Coffee Partners (ICF), which collectively represent prominent European coffee companies, including Löfbergs, Lavazza, Tchibo, illycaffè, JDE Peet’s and Nestlé, have sought a delay to EUDR to enable smallholder coffee farms more time to comply with the new rules.  

EUDR advocates argue the rules are long overdue and represent a vital step towards decoupling key commodities from forest degradation while supporting biodiversity to ensure the long-term viability of agricultural production globally. 

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