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IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods has said the break in Mercosur talks until tomorrow is an opportunity for Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan to face down the Trade Commissioner and force a rethink on the sell-out of beef farmers.

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Responding to a leaked EU Commission memo suggesting an all-island approach for the agri-food sector, IFA President Joe Healy said that Ireland’s objective in the Brexit negotiations must be the maintenance of the closest possible trading arrangements with all of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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IFA’s submission to the CAP consultation has identified low farm incomes in many sectors as a challenge to the sustainability of farming enterprises, and a barrier to new entrants.

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Speaking at the ASA debate on Brexit in Kilkenny this afternoon, IFA President Joe Healy dismissed any suggestion of diluting growth targets for the farming and food industry because of Brexit. He said, “Food Wise 2025 sets out ambitious targets based on our capacity to expand production. It would be extremely shortsighted to jettison clear objectives at this point”.

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Agri-food exports from the European Union reach record high in 2016, according to annual 2016 figures.

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