IFA President John Bryan has this week met farm leaders from Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland at the NFU Conference to seek support for IFA’s stance in opposing the Mercosur trade talks.
Mr Bryan said there was broad agreement among the leaders that any deal would be a disaster for European agriculture as it would have devastating consequences, particularly for the livestock sector. “The Trade Commissioner Karl de Gucht cannot be allowed to sacrifice agriculture in order to secure a Mercosur deal at any cost. The gains from any deal are not at all evident.”
One of the themes of the conference was food sustainability and global food security. Mr Bryan said the headlong rush to a do a Mercosur deal was not taking account of these issues. “At a time when there are mounting concerns about our ability to feed the growing world population, undermining sustainable production in Europe would be a very dangerous move.”
The IFA President said he would continue to build opposition to a Mercosur deal ahead of the next negotiating session between the EU and the South American countries, which is scheduled for mid-March.