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Irish beef farmers: EU/Mercosur deal is completely unacceptable

Staff Writer | September 15, 2017
Pushing the European Union Mercosur deal is a “completely unacceptable”, according to Meat Industry Ireland’s (MII) director Cormac Healy.
Irish beef
Meat production   Stop-start for 18 years now
In a statement, Healy said that any progression and completion of the Mercosur trade deal will have negative effects on the EU beef market.

“While the outcome of Brexit is still uncertain, it [Mercosur] has the potential to cause serious disruption to the EU beef market, sending the EU-27 market into massive beef surplus. A Mercosur deal that would allow any additional volume of concessionary beef imports on to the EU market must be avoided.

“As Ireland is the main exporter of beef to the rest of the EU market, the Irish cattle and beef sector would suffer the greatest consequences of this deal,” Healy continued.

MII, which is the Ibec group representing the Irish meat processing and export sector, called on the Irish government to block moves by the European Commission to complete the Mercosur trade deal.

In July it was announced that any Mercosur deal was expected to be finalized by the end of 2017

At the same time European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan said that any trade deal with the Mercosur bloc (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) must meet the European Union mandate in relation to agriculture.

Mercosur negotiations have been stop-start for 18 years now. It has generated heavy criticism from various farming organizations over that period.