Farmers call on Government to block EU's South American beef deal

Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association warn that imports will undercut Irish meat prices

Farming, EU, beef, Government, South America, imports

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A group representing beef farmers says it's worried about plans to allow a large amount of South American meat be imported into the EU.

Plans by the EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmstrom, to allow large amounts of beef from South America into the European market will be discussed at an EU Farm Council meeting in Luxembourg today.

The plans would be in exchange for the export of electronic items from the EU to South America.

The General Secretary of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association Eddie Punch, has called on the government to block the deal, at an EU Farm Council meeting in Brussels.

ICSA president Patrick Kent added: “The ICSA is calling on the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and the Farm Council to come out with a very strong and resolute position to ensure that EU Trade Commissioner Cecelia Malmstrom understands that she has absolutely no mandate to sacrifice the EU beef sector.

"It is essential that she is left in no doubt about the fact that concessions on tariff rate quotas, which essentially opens the floodgates to ultra-cheap South American beef imports would be precisely that – the sacrifice of the EU beef sector."