Minister Creed has expressed his worries over any potential Mercosur Trade deal and in particular the beef quota being discussed.
Minister Creed says this deal could seriously damage Irish and European beef sectors, whilst speaking at the European Council of Agriculture and Fisheries meeting. Creed said the offered beef tariff rate quota in last month’s discussions could give rise to potentially serious consequences in the Irish beef sector.
“In relation to Mercosur, I have grave concerns about the offer of a beef tariff rate quota in last month’s round of discussions which gives rise to potentially very serious consequences for the Irish and EU beef sector in particular. This comes at a time when that market is in a delicate balance and is already faced with the potentially very serious consequences of Brexit,” he said.
Creed said with Brexit looming, that market diversification is vital and thanked Commissioner for his work in developing trade opportunities.
“Against the Brexit backdrop, now more than ever, market diversification is of the utmost importance. In that regard, I would like to thank Commissioner Hogan for his work in helping to develop and expand trade opportunities. There have been many positive developments in this area in recent times both of trade agreements and market access improvements – and none more so than in the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.” he added
Minister Creed also spoke of his upcoming trade mission to Japan and Korea, saying he will use the opportunity to develop the Irish food sector further.
“Later this week, I will lead a Trade Mission to Japan and Korea to build on this opportunity for the Irish agri-food sector.” he stated.
Ministers also touched on the topic of pesticides and it’s sustainable use. Minister Creed commented that it is important that EU officials work together to reduce potential impacts on human health and the environment, caused by pesticides.
Minister Creed also said that fact-finding missions conducted by the Commission have identified a range of good practices operating in the Member States. Ministers also used the meeting to discuss sustainable soil management.