Beef will be back on the menu this October as the European Union seeks to finalise a trade deal with Mercosur. The European Commission will offer Mercosur new beef import quotas at reduced tariff rates during a formal round of trade talks in the first week of October in Brussels, EU sources confirmed.
As the United Kingdom begins contacts to negotiate new trade deals as it leaves the EU in 2019, food will be one of many areas that will need to be addressed. The ongoing spat over chlorine chicken highlights how tastes and safety practices around the world can differ hugely, since what might seem normal practice in one country can seem problematic elsewhere.
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.
If beef is not included, there won't be any agreement, said Uruguay's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa in anticipation of next week's meeting of European Union and Mercosur coordinators to adjust the list of goods and services the two blocks will formally exchange in mid October, the first formal meeting of its kind in fourteen years.
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.
The European Union Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, announced on Tuesday that beef will not be part of the current Mercosur trade deal negotiations. The news follows a meeting between the Commissioner and NFU Cymru, which was held on Glamorgan NFU Cymru Chairman, Abi Reader’s farm, in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales.
Brussels must do more to help producers ride out the slump in agricultural commodity prices, European farm leaders have warned. Immediate solutions were needed to tackle the “unprecedented” crisis that had hit agricultural markets, said European farm umbrella organization Copa-Cogeca.