IFA meets MEPs to outline concerns for the beef sector

Speaking at a briefing in the European Parliament in Brussels, IFA National Livestock Chairman, Angus Woods, said Europe needs to “reassess its approach to trade negotiations for agriculture” and in particular the vulnerable beef sector, as a result of Brexit.

  Angus Woods said: “Brexit has dramatically changed the policy landscape and the EU Commission must take account of this in existing and future trade deals and negotiations. The UK is Ireland’s largest export market, buying 250,000 tonnes of quality Irish beef.”

  He added: “The abolition of milk quotas last year has resulted in the expansion of the EU dairy herd, which is posing additional challenges for the beef sector. In addition, EU beef consumption has fallen by over 800,000t in the last decade. The EU market cannot absorb large volumes of additional imports as proposed by the Commission in trade deals such as CETA, TTIP and Mercosur.”

  Mr. Woods said trade is important to the Irish beef sector and the European market is critically important. “That’s why we cannot allow trade deals damage our EU market. A free trade policy with world market prices will not work for the European beef sector. Just look at the damage that policy has inflicted on our grain sector.”