Irish Farmers Association Livestock Chairman has said that the decision to ban another 20 Brazilian plants from exporting meat to the EU has been welcomed by Irish farmers as it ‘fully backs up’ the repeated calls from the group to move away from Mercosur negotiations.
Livestock Chairman Angus Wood said the EU needs to realise that Brazil will ‘continue to fail on standards and she should pull the plug on any additional beef imports in the negotiations’.
The statement comes after the EU banned the export of 20 Brazilian meat plants to the EU for failing to meet EU standards. This includes 19 poultry plants and one beef plant.
Speaking in Brussels, Woods said, “The Brazilians have thrown away the rule book, the latest example being the major meat scandal and fraud ‘Weak Flesh’ from this time last year, which is still running at the very highest administration and political levels in Brazil.”
Question Of Quality
Woods added that Irish beef production is four times more carbon efficient than in Brazil and emphasised that Brazilian beef growth is “driven on the back of destruction of the rain forests”.
He said, “Beef is more important to Ireland than any other EU member state. Commissioner (Phil) Hogan cannot agree to a Mercosur deal involving a major increase in substandard beef imports from Brazil at the same time as we face into the serious challenges of Brexit.”
IFA Poultry Chairman Andy Boylan also spoke against any Mercosur negotiations. He said, “Standards in the poultry production chain in Mercosur nations, especially Brazil, have been proved to be completely substandard and bear no resemblance to the high standard that Irish poultry producers operate to under the Bord Bia Quality Assurance standard.”
The EU offered to open up its beef market to the South American trade bloc back in February in exchange for greater market access. The offer was met by concerns from major EU farming nations, like Ireland and France, over worries that their farmers will lose out due to price undercutting from Brazilian and Argentine beef, and expressed the pressure the market is already under due to uncertainties regarding Brexit.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O'Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.