After 20 years of horse-trading between the EU and Mercosur countries, attention now turns to the conditions attached to the deal. This is where EU and Irish farmers will get a chance to defend their livelihood, with the newly elected Green-leaning European Parliament offering the best chance to oppose apparent double standards on environmental requirements.

According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, greenhouse gas emissions from South American beef are 3.3 times higher than those from European beef. The gap is wider with Brazil, the region’s beef export powerhouse.