21 MARCH 2017
ICSA president Patrick Kent has called for a total ban on Brazilian meat imports to the EU and for trade talks with the Mercosur bloc to be suspended indefinitely. Mr Kent made his comments at the European Parliament in Brussels today at a Farm Europe event entitled “Future of the EU livestock sector – The way forward?”
Mr Kent said “Trade talks should be frozen with Mercosur in light of the scandal surrounding sub-standard Brazilian meat imports coming into Europe. Not only that, but all talks regarding international trade deals should be frozen in the light of continuing Brexit uncertainty.”
This was one of four elements in the ICSA strategy to put price for the producer central to every aspect of decision making at EU level for the livestock sector noting that “The focus must shift to the price achievable for the primary producer. Otherwise we are guilty of misleading the next generation of farmers into believing there is a future in beef farming.”
The other points were:
Supply management – Mr Kent outlined the ICSA proposals on reducing suckler cow numbers.
Segmenting the market – Mr Kent insisted that grass fed suckler beef would need to be differentiated as a premium product and promoted as such to achieve a premium price.
Unfair trading – Mr Kent called for a regulator/auditor to ensure transparency over who profits from the food chain.