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Opposing Mercosur Talks

by 5m Editor
2 July 2010, at 9:30a.m.

IRELAND - The President of the Irish Farmers Association John Bryan and the newly-elected President of the Ulster Farmers Union John Thompson have committed to working together to oppose the Mercosur trade talks, which they said would have a devastating impact on the livestock, pig, poultry and grain sectors across the island of Ireland.

The two Presidents held a bi-lateral meeting during a visit by a UFU delegation to the Irish Farm Centre today (Wed) where the review of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and animal health issues were also discussed.

John Bryan and John Thompson pledged to secure a properly-funded Common Agricultural Policy that continues to support active farmers post-2013.

John Bryan said, “both IFA and the Ulster Farmers Union recognise the importance of the CAP and safeguarding the Single Farm Payment for producers on the island of Ireland. John Thompson and I are committed to mounting a strong, joint campaign to highlight the value of the CAP and the significant benefits across a number of key areas for producers, consumers, the rural economy, the environment and food security.”

The President of UFU John Thompson said, “We are fully behind the campaign to secure a fully funded CAP that will deliver a meaningful Single Farm Payment to active farmers after its forthcoming review. Both organisations will work closely in the coming months as the debate steps up, and will co-operate at European level to build a stronger case for the CAP.”

The two Presidents also discussed the relationship that exists between the two farm organisations on animal health, pointing to the joint action on Bluetongue which has ensured the island of Ireland has remained Bluetongue-free as an example of how well this approach can work. Enhanced animal health on the island has the potential to reduce the cost of controls for diseases such as brucellosis and TB for farmers. “An all-island approach is the most effective means of achieving our animal health objectives,” they concluded.