greenway ICSA Farming Flooding Slurry Spreading

ICSA urges acting Government to save Irish Beef in light of Mercosur deal

greenway ICSA Farming Flooding Slurry Spreading

ICSA president Patrick Kent has re-iterated his calls for Ireland to do everything possible to block a Mercosur deal involving the concession of tariff rate quotas. Speaking in advance of Monday’s Farm Council meeting in Luxembourg, Mr Kent said that the current agricultural outlook in Europe was bad enough “without adding fuel to the fire.”

“A deal at a time when farmers across Europe are already feeling the pressure due to price volatility in all commodities and the knock-on impact of the Russian ban would be reckless and irresponsible. It must be understood that the Russian ban on pig imports has also caused a general depression for beef prices across most EU states. This in turn is impacting live exports as well as beef prices adversely.”

“The ICSA is calling on the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and the Farm Council to come out with a very strong and resolute position to ensure that EU Trade Commissioner Cecelia Malmstrom understands that she has absolutely no mandate to sacrifice the EU beef sector.”

“It is essential that she is left in no doubt about the fact that concessions on tariff rate quotas, which essentially opens the floodgates to ultra-cheap South American beef imports would be precisely that – the sacrifice of the EU beef sector. Ireland is especially exposed as a country relying on trade within the EU. What is the point of the European Union at all if there is access without significant tariffs for far away countries which do not have to deal with EU standards and regulations?”

“It is also clear that opening the gates to extra beef imports from South America would make a mockery of all the pious aspirations of the EU on climate change. Two key examples include the millions of air miles implied in such imports and the pressure on the Amazon rain forest which is implicit in any move to encourage further expansion of the Brazilian beef sector.”

“Regardless of the impasse on Government formation, Minister Coveney, Minister Bruton and the Taoiseach need to stand by the Republic on this issue and put every possible effort into fighting for the future of the beef sector. We have already waited over 40 days for a new government; we can wait a few more days while the acting cabinet involved prioritise saving our beef sector.”