IFA President Tim Cullinan has queried why the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue did not formally support a point raised by the Austrian Minister about the Mercosur trade deal.
It will be discussed at today’s EU Farm Council meeting and the Austrian position has the support of four other Member States.
“The Minister needs to come clean as to why he did not support the paper from Austria. However, there is still an opportunity for him to express his support at today’s meeting,” he said.
“We have consistently opposed a Mercosur trade deal that fails to recognise the lack of standards that exist in Brazil and other countries. We would expect our Minister to use the opportunity presented by this discussion at EU level to register Ireland’s objection to a deal that would undermine our production, particularly beef farming,” he said.
Tim Cullinan said the Austrian point raises the contradiction between EU Commission policy on climate action and their pursuance of trade deals with countries that have a very poor record in this area.
“We have a commitment that the Mercosur deal will not proceed if the countries fail to meet EU standards. Our Minister should be availing of today’s meeting to re-state Ireland’s opposition to this deal proceeding,” he said.