11 MAY 2016
ICSA president Patrick Kent has welcomed the decision of the EU Commission to exclude beef from their initial offer in the Mercosur trade deal talks. “ICSA has been campaigning to have beef taken off the table due to the potentially catastrophic impact on the Irish beef sector. ICSA raised the issue in the European Parliament before Christmas and of course, have held protests and conveyed the opposition of Irish farmers to the EU Commission.”
“While the removal of an offer to the Mercosur block of a substantial tariff rate quota for beef is good news, we cannot become complacent on this issue. The Mercosur negotiations, as well as other talks including TTIP, will continue. ICSA will remain vigilant on the issue to ensure the beef sector is never again used as a pawn for the benefit of other industries in such international trade talks.”
ICSA members staged a protest outside the EU Commission offices on Lower Mount St in Dublin last week (May 4th) to demonstrate their opposition to the proposed Mercosur deal. Of the protest Mr Kent said “Mercosur has been casting a foreboding shadow on the beef industry across Europe for some time now. The threat posed to the Irish beef industry by vast quantities of cheap South American beef flooding European markets was very real and enough to bring ICSA protestors out from every county in Ireland. I want to express gratitude to all the farmers who helped us to make the point very forcibly to the EU Commission at the protest and who helped raise awareness about the issue in Dail Eireann.