Today, IFA (Irish Farmers’ Association) is set to lead a protest against the Mercosur beef deal outside the EU Commission Office in Dublin at approximately 11am.
The IFA are protesting against the offering of a green light to the EU Market for 70,000 tonnes of South American beef.
Speaking with That’s Farming Maura Canning of IFA said:
“It is a very important protest. We have to send a message to the EU Commission and the Government, with hope that this will go back to Brussels. That is why we are holding this protest. The beef sector and the suckler farmers in this country keep the country on its feet.” Maura explained.
“This deal in question on top of all the beef that is already exported into the EU is not going to help. This will carve up extra amount into high value and cheaper cuts and they will be tariff-free. The problem is that the EU is already over 100% over self-sufficient and an unfavourable Brexit, which is what we are experiencing, could increase this figure to 116%.” Maura Canning told That’s Farming.
Commenting on the Mercosur beef offer last week, Joe Healy, IFA President said it is a “major mistake” for the EU to make this offer, due to Brexit uncertainty and the ongoing scandals in Brazil over their failure to meet EU standards.
Angus Woods, IFA National Livestock Chairman stressed how Mercosur countries already have “too much access to European Markets”.
He revealed that up to 74% of all EU beef imports amount to 246,000 tonnes (carcase weight equivalent) annually.