IFA President Tim Cullinan said EU agri-food promotion must include all food sectors and not exclude animal food products.
He said any attempt to exclude meat products would be a betrayal of one of Europe’s most significant indigenous sectors.
He was reacting to comments made by the European Commission’s Director-General of DG Agriculture, Wolfgang Burtscher, in his address to members of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee on the EU’s agri-food promotion policy.
IFA President Tim Cullinan said, “The livestock sector promotes sustainable production methods and the consumption of animal products as part of a healthy, balanced diet. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is on record that there is no compelling evidence that red meat consumed as part of a balanced diet contributes to cancer. How is the Commission turning their back on science?”.
The Commission cited the Eurobarometer study of EU citizens and coherence to other EU policies as central to the future promotional policy review. Mr Burtscher was reminded at the meeting that the Farm to Fork Strategy is not yet an implemented regulation.
“All products from farmers involved in sustainable farming need to be promoted, especially when our livestock farmers continue to operate to ever higher standards of sustainability. Any reduction in support for the promotion of their products goes against the commitment of the Commission for more sustainable food production,” said Mr Cullinan.
This year’s €182.9m promotional budget sees €86m allocated to promoting organic products despite the organic sector comprising only 8% of agriculture across Member States.