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Opposition to Mercosur Trade Talks

by 5m Editor
6 July 2010, at 12:51am

UK & IRELAND - President of the National Farmers' Union (NFU) Peter Kendall and President of the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) John Bryan have outlined their strong reservations about the reopening of EU-Mercosur trade talks, the outcome of which could seriously damage important livestock, pig, poultry and grain sectors across both Britain and Ireland.

The two farm leaders held a bilateral meeting in London where they discussed the Mercosur trade talks, the review of the Common Agricultural Policy and a number of other issues of mutual interest to farmers in Britain and Ireland.

Mr Kendall said that as part of the Mercosur discussion the EU Commission must recognise the fact that Irish and UK farmers operate to the highest standards of food safety, animal identification and welfare, as well as the environment.

“Beef imports from South America and particularly Brazil fail to meet all EU standards in these areas and the EU cannot allow an erosion of such important standards to European consumers and producers,” said Mr Kendall.

John Bryan said consumers expect that the EU will not accept increased beef imports from Brazil, that come at an unexpectedly high cost in terms of climate change and widespread destruction of the rainforest in the Panthanal and Amazon regions.

Mr Kendall added: “Both the NFU and the IFA recognise the importance of the CAP and the significant benefits it brings across a number of areas for producers, consumers, the rural economy, the environment and food security. Both organisations will work closely in the coming months as the CAP 2013 debate steps up and co-operate at European level to build a stronger case for the CAP.”