'We are doing everything by the book but beef prices are hopeless' - Farmers on Mercosur deal
Farmers at the IFA protest outside the EU Parliament offices in Dublin voiced their concerns over the potential Mercosur trade deal.
Limousin suckler farmer, Caheragh, Cork
"This has to be tackled prior to Brexit as Brexit, as we all know, will put a serious dent in it. Britain will have a free hand very, very soon to purchase wherever they want to. Automatically, they will go for cheap food. An awful lot of people don't understand about the quality in our Irish food at the moment so I've no doubt the English don't understand about it either.
"We know the quality is below ours. However, the price is going to dictate where the consumer will go.
"If they can get 10kg of Brazilian beef for four or five kg of the Irish beef, they'll forget about quality."
Beef finisher/suckler farmer, Drinagh, West Cork
"It worries me very much - we got all the hormone beef banned here," he said. "We are doing everything by the book and the price of our beef today is hopeless. The suckler farmer needs to be supported as it is top quality and they have no problem taking this South American beef that is all hormones.
"We have perfect beef to sell. We are not going to be getting the price we should be as we are up against it. People will tear into supermarkets and look to buy beef as cheap as they can, but they haven't a clue what they are buying. That is a big problem. The drive towards low-cost food is a major issue. The price of beef today is at least 50c/kg less than it should be."
Dairy and beef farmer, Boolavogue, Wexford
"It will have an impact on the beef industry in Ireland and across Europe. The price being paid at the moment for beef is very poor and the beef industry will hit the floor. How can people continue to make a livelihood?
"Brexit has already had an impact with sterling. It is just one thing after another. It is going to affect so many industries."
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