Two members of the Irish Farming Association, President Joe Healy and Chairman Angus Woods, met this week with a delegation consisting of the Canadians Cattleman’s Association and the Canadian Meat council. The meeting took place earlier this week with the main topics of conversation being the beef industry, it’s trade, standards, sustainability and the International Beef Alliance.
President Healy, while discussing the meeting, said it’s clear that beef farmers in both countries share the same problems. These challenges include prices, competition in the market, production costs, labelling and finally exports.
Discussions also swayed towards the topic of Brexit and the implications this might have on the beef industry. They also discussed Irelands long established relationship with major UK retailers and highlighted its steady customer base within the UK.
Quality, Assurance, sustainability and superior standards and a successful Brexit for all are key factors in maintaining Irelands beef trade within the UK in future.
Angus Wood, National Livestock Chairman of the IFA, said that under the trade deal between Canada and the EU that Canadian farmers must meet EU standards. Especially when it comes to issues such as food safety, traceability, and access to the EU market. He further this by stating that all imports at EU level must meet the set standards.
Mr Woods also said the Canadian’s Cattleman’s Association informed the IFA of its stabilisation of its cattle numbers and that the majority of beef in their industry is grain finished in feed lots.
IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said that under the trade deal between Canada and the EU (CETA), Canadian beef farmers will have to meet EU standards on key issues of traceability, food safety and the environment to be able to access the EU market. He said it is very clear at EU level that all imports must meet EU standards.
They also named the USA as its main importer although the agreement that set this in place, NAFTA agreement, is now set to be re-evaluated under Donald Trump’s new administration.