WITH the EU Commission having agreed a new substantial offer on beef for the Mercosur trade negotiations, IFA President Joe Healy said it was a major mistake for the EU Commission to make this offer at this time, given the huge uncertainty over Brexit and the ongoing scandals in Brazil over their failure to meet EU standards.
He said that it is incredible that, despite strong objections from 11 EU member states, led by Ireland and France, the EU Commission are hell-bent on making additional concessions to the Brazilians and other Latin American countries at a very high cost to Irish and European beef farmers.
IFA National Livestock chairman Angus Woods said the Mercosur countries already have too much access to the European market with up to 74% of all EU beef imports amounting to 246,000t (carcase weight equivalent) every year.
Mr Woods added that the Commission is way too lenient with Brazil and others over their continuing failure to meet EU standards on the key issues of traceability, food safety, animal health and the environment. ‘The fact remains that the EU relies on the Brazilian authorities to certify beef imports and the record shows that they are not capable of meeting EU standards,’ he claimed.