Updated: 02/08/17 : 06:48:57
is no room on the EU market for additional beef imports from Brazil or
South America and it would be totally unacceptable to include beef
in any trade deal offer by the EU to the Mercosur trading bloc in light
of the uncertainty around Brexit, IFA President Joe Healy has said.
reports this week that beef may be included in an EU trade deal offer
to Mercosur countries, including Brazil, Joe Healy said Brexit has
the potential to dramatically change the European beef market and this
uncertainty cannot be ignored by the EU Commission in the Mercosur
stark reality is that without the UK market, the EU beef sector would
become 116% self-sufficient and there is simply no room for any
beef imports. The EU Commission must insist that beef is excluded from
the Mercosur trade discussions,” the IFA President said.
said the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed recently made it clear
at a Beef Forum meeting that Ireland’s position is that beef must be
from any deal. He said, “IFA fully supports this strong stance by the
Minister. As well as support from the French, Minister Creed needs to
build stronger support for this position with EU colleagues.”
addition, Joe Healy said the EU Commission cumulative impact study on
trade deals clearly shows that beef is extremely exposed and a very
IFA President pointed out that Brazil and other South American
countries already have very substantial preferential access to the EU
He said in 2015, the EU imported a total of 334,000t of beef, of which
over 70% or 239,000t came from Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.
Healy said IFA, with the support of a number of key EU beef producing
countries including France, Italy, Spain and Poland, recently wrote to
President of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker outlining the
strongest possible objections on Mercosur and demanding that beef be
definitively excluded from any agreement.
Standards and climate impact
IFA President said the recent Brazilian meat scandal also shows that
Mercosur countries are not capable of certifying product to a standard
demanded by European consumers.
said Brazil and other Mercosur countries consistently fail to meet EU
standards on the key requirements of traceability, food safety, animal
health and welfare controls and environmental standards.
Healy said it would be an absolute contradiction of EU policy on
climate change to for Europe to agree a Mercosur deal that increases
and replaces sustainably produced EU beef with product from South
America that has a much higher carbon footprint. He said, “It is well
established that the growth in South American beef exports and
particularly exports from Brazil has come about on the back
of widespread destruction of the Rainforest in the Pantanal and Amazon