Protectionist segments of European agriculture have requested that the EU negotiators do not show flexibility in dealing with the beef issue at the negotiations of the Mercosur-European Union free trade agreement, which will have a new round from Monday (20) up the 24th in Buenos Aires.
The powerful Copa-Cogea, which represents European producers, has issued a statement in which it expresses “health safety concerns” with regard to Brazil. For the entity, the scandal shows the importance of ensuring that EU imports comply with the sanitary standards defined by the bloc and that the traceability of products is respected.
In its page in Internet, Copa-Cogeca points out that, in a letter it sent to the European Commission on the EU-Mercosur negotiations, it insisted that European standards be respected, that Mercosur ensure the individual traceability of livestock and that the ban on the use of meat and bones in the production of chicken in the Southern Cone block.
The Irish House Representative (Teachta Dála ) Martin Kenny requested his country’s Minister of Agriculture Michael Creek “to immediately look for a halt to Brazilian beef imports to Europe. The quality of Irish beef produced from grass-fed, free-roaming cattle, bred on family farms, to the highest standards should not be forced to compete with produce from countries where standards are non-existent in comparison” said Mr. Kenny.
Martin Kenny is Sinn Féin’s spokesman on agriculture, food and the marine, said that Brazil is one of Ireland’s biggest competitors for the EU beef market, but we see today that the authorities there have exposed a huge scandal in the sector , what highlights the shoddy standards and produce against which Irish farmers must compete.
“The whole situation serves to warn against international trade agreements such as CETA, which sets poor quality cheaper produce against the unique excellence of Irish beef.”