Ireland's Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has expressed “grave concerns” about the offer of a beef tariff rate quota in last month’s round of European Union/Mercosur discussions, which he said gives rise to potentially very serious consequences for the Irish and EU beef sector in particular.
First vice-president of the European Union Parliament Irish lawmaker Mairead McGuinness has asked EU Commissioners for agriculture and trade for clarity on allegations that Brazil has sold meat that is unfit for consumption.
Following a meeting to discuss common concerns, the British Isles' farming unions – NFU Scotland, the English NFU, NFU Cymru, the Ulster Farmers Union and the Irish Farmers Association – issued a joint statement warning buyers that the downward pressure on farm-gate prices was “sapping confidence” out of the sector.
European farmers took to the streets of Dublin outside the EU Commission offices to highlight the potential “sellout” of the multi-billion-euro beef industry in trade talks with Mercosur. Concerns have been rising over discussions at EU level over the impact a deal with Mercosur would have on Ireland's €2.5bn beef industry, which depends on EU markets for over 90% of its exports.
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) is to protest on Wednesday May 4, in Dublin against the proposed Mercosur and TTIP trade deals. The protest will take place outside the offices of the European Commission in the Irish capital.
The Irish Farmers' Association has described an European Union offer to allow limited access to the EU market for Mercosur beef producers as “unfair”. The offer, which includes beef producers in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, is about to be presented to European Union member states for discussion, ahead of a proposed formal exchange of offers as part of the EU-Mercosur trade negotiations in May.
Irish authorities have identified a suspected case of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, on a dairy farm in County Louth, the first such case to be discovered in the country since 2013. The Irish Department of Agriculture said on Thursday the five-year-old diseased cow was discovered as part of ongoing inspections of animals that die on farms.
European Union and Mercosur representatives analyzed the current state of negotiations for an association and free trade agreement but could not establish a date for the exchange of new proposals because the European Commission has yet not concluded the consultation process with member states to harmonize its proposal.
President Dilma Rousseff claimed before the Brazil's farmers lobby that the trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union is stalled and is not fulfilled because of the 'resistance' from several European countries, and specifically named France, Hungary and Ireland.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel assured Brazil on Sunday that she will do her utmost to bring to successful end negotiations for a cooperation and free trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur.