There is no room on the EU market for additional beef imports from Brazil or South America and it would be unacceptable to include beef in any trade deal offer by the EU to the Mercosur trading bloc in light of the uncertainty around Brexit, IFA president Joe Healy has said.

Following reports that beef may be included in an EU offer to Mercosur countries, Joe Healy said Brexit has the potential to dramatically change the European beef market and this uncertainty cannot be ignored by the European Commission in the Mercosur negotiations.

“The stark reality is that without the UK market, the EU beef sector would become 116% self-sufficient and there is simply no room for any additional beef imports.

The European Commission must insist that beef is excluded from the Mercosur trade discussions.

“Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed recently made it clear at a Beef Forum meeting that Ireland’s position is that beef must be excluded from any deal. The IFA fully supports this strong stance by the minister.

As well as support from the French, Minister Creed needs to build stronger support for this position with EU colleagues.”

Letter to Jean-Claude Juncker The IFA, with the support of a number of key EU beef-producing countries including France, Italy, Spain and Poland, recently wrote to president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, outlining the strongest possible objections on Mercosur and demanding that beef be definitively excluded from any agreement.