The Irish Farmers’ Association has demanded that EU Trade Commissioner Cecelia Malmstrom take beef off the table in the EU/Mercosur negotiations.
IFA President Joe Healy said in light of the untold potential damage of Brexit to the Irish and European beef sector, there is no way the EU Commission can propose to advance a Mercosur negotiation which involves a major increase in beef imports.
“Such a deal would be sabotage and a sell-out of the European Union beef and livestock sector.”
Joe Healy called on the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to make it clear to President Juncker and the EU Commission that Ireland will not ratify any deal which undermines the interests of Irish farmers and inflicts major damage on our €3bn beef and livestock sector.
Ireland must stand and insist that Europe rejects beef imports which fail to meet key standards on traceability, food safety and the environment.
Joe Healy said any attempt to try and agree a quick deal on Mercosur in the current political vacuum in the EU, following the European Parliament elections and before the next Commission is ratified, must be blocked, as it would be a complete breach of trust.
Joe Healy said “Brazil have a wilful disregard for environmental concerns, having said they do not accept the Paris Accord and increased beef exports are responsible for major deforestation in the Amazon”.