08 Dec 2016
IFA PRESIDENT CHALLENGES EU TRADE COMMISSIONER MALMSTROM ON MERCOSURBrussels Daily, Cattle, Economics
IFA President Joe Healy raised the deep concerns of Irish livestock farmers about Mercosur and other trade issues during a discussion at COPA this afternoon with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom.
Mr Healy said the incomes of livestock farmers are already under serious pressure and any deal with the South American bloc would undermine those further.
Joe Healy stressed that previous analysis by the European Commission had shown that a Mercosur deal would inflict losses of €7.8 billion on the EU agriculture sector. “The impact at farm level would be to devastate the incomes of Ireland’s 100,000 livestock farmers, with huge damage and job losses across the rural economy.”
Joe Healy challenged the Commissioner on the issue of standards, saying that the Mercosur countries had consistently failed to meet EU standards on the key issues of traceability, animal health and welfare controls, the ban on hormone growth promoters, and environmental controls.
The IFA President said the EU Commission would have to re-evaluate the protection afforded to sensitive sectors within European agriculture and protect the most sensitive sector,“The beef sector cannot and will not be sacrificed in any trade deal.”