Listen: ‘Brazil will push us when it gets its act together’
Suckler beef farming in Europe will be coming under further pressure from imports as Brazil develops its traceability and production regulations, Northern Ireland MEP Jim Nicholson has said.
Speaking at the annual Irish Farmers Journal breakfast event at Balmoral Show, Nicholson said that during a recent trip to Brazil he had seen two different types of farms – ones that produce for domestic consumption and then larger farms that are export-focussed.
“The farm I was on killed 112,000 cattle in one year. When I was there at Easter they had killed 20,000. They've got their own vets and they have got their own agronomists,” the Ulster Unionist MEP said.
“Nobody can tell me that these people will not be pushing us when they get all of their act together. That will be a difficult time for our suckler and beef producers, because there is no way we can compete with the climate they have,” he said.
Nicholson added that support is needed for the suckler beef sector in NI to maintain a supply of beef. Without suckler farms, he said, the dairy herd cannot fill the gap with beef supply domestically.
“You will be leaving yourself wide open to imports coming in from outside,” he concluded.