'Toxic' Mercosur deal inches towards agreement with beef talks this weekend
An IFA delegation will be in Argentina this weekend, as a Mercosur deal is expected to be signed off between the South American Mercosur bloc countries and the EU.
South America’s Mercosur trade bloc is confident a framework agreement with the European Union will be announced next week despite resistance from farmers in Europe to permit tariff-free beef imports, a Mercosur official said this week.
The farm organisation has has called the trade negotiations with Mercosur “toxic” and said the European meat market is being sacrificed for the sake of a deal with the South American bloc.
An IFA spokeperson confirmed that IFA President Joe Healy will travel to Argentina for WTO talks at the weekend and ahead of the talks, he reiterated his total opposition to any Mercosur deal.
Healy met last week with senior EU Commission officials in Brussels, including with the Chief EU negotiator on the deal, Sandra Gallina, DG Trade.
The IFA President said Irish and European beef farmers are very angry at the way they are being sacrificed in Mercosur and there is bad blood over the excessive offer of an additional 70,000t TRQ offered by the EU.
Joe Healy said Irish and European farmers are required to meet the highest food safety and environmental standards in the world. “It is a total contradiction of European policy that Trade Commissioner Maelstrom is now willing to cut a deal for more beef imports from Brazil and sacrifice sustainable production in Europe.”
He said Irish beef production is four times more carbon efficient than Brazil where growth is driven on the back of destruction of the rainforests.