Furthermore, ministers were briefed by the Commission on international agricultural trade issues. More than half of EU agricultural trade is carried out under bilateral or regional agreements: a number of them have been concluded recently, are under way or are planned. The 11th negotiation round on the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) took place at the end of October. Many Council members pointed out the need for balanced international agreements with regard to agriculture.
The Council invited also the Commission to provide an update on the main market developments and on progress on the adoption and the implementation of the package of market support measures. Given the difficult situation experienced by various agricultural sectors, notably the dairy and pigmeat sectors the Commission announced at the September Council a series of measures to alleviate short term difficulties and improve the competitiveness of EU farmers. Legal acts entered into force after their publication on mid-October. Most ministers responded favourably to the rapid implementation of those measures. The Council expects a more complete evaluation early next year.
The Council adopted a regulation making the placing of novel foods on the EU market faster and cheaper while preserving the high level of protection of human health. Novel foods are foods not consumed in the EU to a significant degree before May 1997. They include for instance foods to which a new production process is applied.