Ireland dairy industry has praised the German Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner who has said she is not going to push forward efforts to seal the Mercosur Trade agreement and underlined she had serious concerns over the deal.
Speaking after a meeting of EU agriculture Ministers she said the EU was 'not in an active phase' in relation to the agreement and said it was considering how the Mercosur side will implement what was agreed in terms of environmental standards.
That will be the yardstick for our action. To be honest, I have serious doubts. Just look at brazil and the burning of so much forest to create farm land and producing food under conditions which the EU would never authorize. Our farmers quite rightly have misgivings.
At some stage, we have to ensure that the environmental standards we fight for can not ultimately become a disadvantage for us. We need to make that quite clear,” she said.
Ireland's milk and cream suppliers association, ICMSA president Pat McCormack said that the recent comments made by the German Minster must be considered “very notable and most probably decisive”.
He said that the overwhelming likelihood now was that Mercosur would not be ratified and that pending what he said would have to be a full renegotiation, he thought the agreement, as presented to the Member States by the Commission, should now be ‘parked indefinitely’.
“We think that Minister Klöckner is simply saying out loud what everyone knows: that version of the Mercosur Agreement will never pass through the parliaments of the Member States and it would be sensible for everyone – including the south American Countries – to accept that reality and move on to a situation where we negotiate again, but this time on the same environmental and sustainable framework for both the EU and the Mercosur countries”, he said.