IFA puts pressure on TDs to oppose Mercosur

IFA President Joe Healy
IFA President Joe Healy
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The IFA is putting pressure on TDs and Senators today to oppose the Mercosur deal, as it says it will damage Ireland's rural economy, the environment and consumers.

IFA’s National Council, National Livestock Committee and National Poultry Committee will hold a lobby session for all TDs and Senators on Tuesday to build opposition to the deal.  

“We will be highlighting the damage that this deal will do on a number of levels – to the rural economy here; to the global environment; and to consumers,” said IFA President Joe Healy.

As part of the campaign, IFA is highlighting the environmental damage done by beef production in Brazil with a slogan ‘One Burned Every Minute’, a reference to a recent BBC report which shows that the size of a football pitch in the rainforest is burned down every minute to clear ground for grazing and cattle ranching.

The IFA President said farmers expect our politicians take a stronger stance. “What we have at the moment are bland assurances and very weak commitments about safeguarding Irish farmers. It’s not enough. Either those in high office support Irish farmers or they don’t. The time for sitting on the fence is over,” he said.

On Wednesday, Joe Healy, Livestock Chairman Angus Woods and Poultry Chairman Andy Boylan will travel to Brussels to meet other farm leaders who are opposed to the deal. 

“Just because the EU Commission is trying to sell us out doesn’t mean we won’t continue to fight this deal and build an alliance of opposition to it.”

A meeting will also take place with the EU Commissioner for Health and Food safety Vytenis Andriukaitis, who has responsibility regarding meat import standards. “It is clear that Brazilian meat is not produced to the same standards as European beef. We want to make it clear to the Health and Food Safety Commissioner that it is wrong that food is being imported into Europe, which would be illegal to produce here,” he said.

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