Newly-elected MEPs Have Vital Role in Blocking Mercosur & Supporting Beef Sector

Speaking at the Teagasc BEEF2024 event in Grange, Co Meath today, IFA President Francie Gorman said our newly-elected MEPs must treat the Mercosur deal as a red-line issue.

“Beef farmers will expect our MEPs to be steadfast in their opposition to a trade deal that would have very damaging consequences for our sector. From the point next month when they formally take their seats, they will have to keep a close eye on negotiations.”

The Irish beef sector accounted for €2.7bn of our food exports last year. With 100,000 beef farmers, it is the largest farming sector in the country and has an economic impact in every parish in rural Ireland.

The IFA President said that our MEPs may differ on some issues, but there’s a strong case for unity on Mercosur. “The impact of a negative trade deal would be felt beyond the farmgate, with processing and upstream value hit by any decision to allow more imports,” he said.

“The new European Parliament can act as a bulwark against the Commission plans, which appear to ignore the devastating impact of beef production in Brazil, while at the same time imposing greater regulations on beef farmers here. The next CAP, which is already taking shape, has to re-set its aims to better support beef production.”

IFA Livestock chair Declan Hanrahan, who also attended today’s Teagasc event, said beef and suckler farmers will be looking to the next Budget and the new CAP to provide additional supports.

“While there is no doubting the value of the beef sector to the Irish economy, incomes remain under pressure. Both beef and suckler farmers will be looking to the national Budget in October, and the next CAP, to underpin their incomes with strong supports,” he said.

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