Beef ‘flying it’ but Mercosur deal is danger

Galway IFA Livestock Chairman, Michael Flynn
Galway IFA Livestock Chairman, Michael Flynn

American trade deal hanging over it with potentially devastating medium to long-term consequences, it has been warned this week.

Galway IFA Livestock Chairman, Michael Flynn, told the Farming Tribune that proposals being mooted to allow in 100,000 tonnes of South American beef into the EU on an annual basis had to be fought tooth and nail.

He said that 100,000 tonnes of beef per year ‘allowed in’ from South America would be the equivalent of 300,000 cattle hitting the EU market each year.

“Consumers really do need to be made aware of the fact that beef produced in South America is completely untraceable where animals can be given any concoction of hormones or other substances.

“We just cannot allow a situation to develop whereby the highest quality and traceable beef produced in Ireland has to compete with a product that quite simply can have anything in it,” said Michael Flynn.

He said that what was happening with what were called the Mercosur negotiations was a sacrificing of farming interests in Ireland and in other EU countries, in order for the EU to access different markets in South America.

Michael Flynn said that the Mercosur deal was being mooted at a time when there was a very positive outlook for cattle and beef prices across the EU with demand up by 2.5% over the past year while supply was down by 1.5%.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.