WTO talks on food and farm products are expected to resume next summer. A meeting of senior officials in Geneva has set a timetable which will give until the end of the year for any new proposals to add to the agenda. Three WTO mini-sessions will now be held in June, September and November. EU farm commissioner Franz Fischler gave the news a guarded welcome: "I am convinced that good and quick progress can be made," he said in Brussels. "This is also in our interest because the EU is the world's second biggest exporter of agricultural products." But the Commission remains committed to non-trade issues such as animal welfare in the WTO. "As agreed in the Marakech agreement, we will take a further step towards the liberalisation of farm trade. But we have to strike the right balance between progressive reductions in support and protection and non-trade concerns'." {{PROVISIONS }}