ICSA wants Government clarity on Mercosur

ICSA Beef chair Edmund Graham has called on the Taoiseach to clarify where the Government stands on the Mercosur deal which could provide favourable access to almost 100,000 tons of South American beef to the EU.

“It is absolute hypocrisy to even attempt to find a way of making this deal acceptable at a time when farmers are extremely worried about what measures will be imposed on them in order to meet the climate action plan targets. ICSA has actively campaigned against the deal for many years and a key element we wanted was that beef should not be imported from regions that are removing forest cover,” Mr. Graham said.

“Now it appears there are discussions at EU level on protocols to allow the beef come in from South America, in return for assisting the car manufacturing sector to sell more products there. It just doesn’t make any sense when farmers have spent the last few months being told that the national herd would have to be cut. We do not accept that, but we can see no logic to importing beef from outside the EU”.

The ICSA Beef Chairman said that while some Government comments seemed supportive, there appears to be an effort to “leave the door open”.

“This must be stopped straight away. Farmers will not accept any more obfuscation – we need absolute clarity from the government that farmers will not have to look at Brazilian beef on EU shelves at a time when we are told that beef must be more sustainable,” he said.

“Farmers are willing to their bit in improving sustainability, but we will not accept our efforts being undermined by cheap beef imports just to placate the EU car sector”.