IFA President Joe Healy and National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods met with a delegation from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Canadian Meat Council in Dublin this week to discuss a range of issues on beef including trade, standards, sustainability and the International Beef Alliance.
Joe Healy said it is clear that Canadian beef farmers are facing the same challenges as Irish farmers on key issues such as price, competition, production costs, labelling and exports. He said, IFA had had a broad ranging discussion on Brexit where the difficulties for the beef sector and our hard won and long established relationship with UK retailers and customers were highlighted. He said Quality Assurance, sustainability and superior standards as well as a successful outcome on Brexit will be key factors in maintaining Irish exports to the UK in the future.
IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said that under the trade deal between Canada and the EU (CETA), Canadian beef farmers will have to meet EU standards on key issues of traceability, food safety and the environment to be able to access the EU market. He said it is very clear at EU level that all imports must meet EU standards.
Angus Woods said the CCA told the IFA that cattle numbers in Canada have stabilised and that the majority of their beef is grain finished in feedlots. The USA is the main export market facilitated by the NAFTA agreement, which has come back on the agenda with the new administration in the US, under President Trump.