Reacting to today’s finding from the European Court of Auditors, IFA Deputy President Eddie Downey said it highlighted the grave dangers of pursuing a free trade agenda that was driven by world trade talks, and which failed to recognise the damage that it could inflict on food production in Europe.
He said, “at the time, IFA warned that the livelihoods of beet growers and the jobs associated with the sugar industry would be sacrificed without any gains for European consumers, and today’s report proves that we were correct. The report also confirms that sugar production was not made more competitive. The sad reality is that the EU has become a net importer and European consumers are paying more for sugar.”
Mr Downey said the EU Commission must heed the lessons of this disastrous experience and ensure that any future trade negotiations such as WTO or Mercosur do not undermine food production in Europe.
Concluding, Eddie Downey called on the Commission to revisit this decision that has restricted Ireland from re-entering sugar production.