02 Feb 2011
IFA DELEGATION IN BRUSSELS HIGHLIGHTS MERCOSUR THREAT TO IRISH FARMERSCattle
An IFA delegation led by President John Bryan held a number of meetings in Brussels today (Wed) to highlight the threat facing Irish farmers if a trade deal with the Mercosur countries, including Brazil and Argentina, goes ahead. The IFA President also met a number of Irish MEPs.
Mr Bryan said the headlong rush by European Commission President Barroso and DG Trade Commissioner De Gucht to complete a trade deal must be halted.
The IFA President said Ireland’s €2bn livestock and beef sector would be devastated, because Brazilian beef imports will destroy price returns from EU markets. He said there are also grave implications for our dairy, pigmeat, poultry and cereals sectors.
Mr Bryan said, “MEPs were left in no doubt about the very negative implications of a Mercosur deal for Irish beef production. The whole basis of the EU approach to the negotiations is flawed as it involves the sell-out of European agriculture by allowing EU market access for a flood of imports.”
The IFA President said, “We must insist on an end to EU double standards on South American imports, when it comes to food safety and traceability, animal health and environmental standards.”
John Bryan said the closure of our Sugar industry should be a clear lesson to the EU Commission that any Mercosur trade deal will devastate our beef industry and destroy our prospects of achieving the Food Harvest 2020 targets.