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IFA Says Mercosur Bad for Irish Farmers, Environment & EU Standards

01 July 2019

IRELAND - Reacting to the outcome of the trade talks with the South American trade bloc Mercosur, IFA President Joe Healy said EU negotiators have colluded in a deal that has sold out Irish and European farmers.

Mr Healy said, "This is a bad deal for Ireland and for Irish farmers, it’s a bad deal for the environment and it’s a bad deal for EU standards and consumers."

The IFA President called on the Taoiseach make it clear to Brussels that Ireland will not ratify this deal.

"While Commissioner Hogan has done much good work, when he looks back on his five-year term, he will have to consider this Commission sell-out as a low point. The 'turning a blind eye' approach to double standards and environmental degradation in Brazil is indefensible. It makes an utter mockery of the pledge that this EU Commission signed when it took up office in 2014 to uphold EU legislation," he said.

"This deal represents a backroom deal with big business and kowtows to the likes of Mercedes and BMW in their drive to get cars into South America. It is a disgraceful and feeble sell out of a large part of our most valuable beef market to Latin American ranchers and factory farm units.

"Irish and European farmers adhere to the highest standards on traceability, animal welfare, food safety and the environment. Farmers in Brazil do not. Yet our Government and the EU Commission waved the white flag and disregarded what consumers expect from their farmers."

IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods pointed that Ireland's €3bn beef sector is much more important to the country than any other EU member state and cannot allow its vital national interest in beef to be ruined by Brazilian beef imports.

Mr Woods said Ireland cannot allow the EU Commission inflict such damage on the EU beef market without consequences. He said the EU Commission Joint Research Centre has calculated the impact of trade deals on the EU beef sector including Mercosur would cost be up to €7bn pa.

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