ICSA Say Low Beef Prices Are Due To ‘EU Negligence’

IRELAND - The low prices being quoted to Irish farmers over recent months is a direct result of EU negligence, according to ICSA President Malcolm Thompson.
calendar icon 11 May 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Commenting on current prices, Mr Thompson said: “Over 270,000 tonnes of Brazilian beef were imported into the EU last year, and this sub-standard product is having a huge effect on Irish beef prices. However, this figure is likely to be up substantially in 2007. In March, for example, Brazilian beef exports globally were up 33 per cent year-on-year. The USDA has also forecast a significant increase (33 per cent) in Brazilian beef exports. Most alarming of all is the claim by Brazil’s National Agriculture Confederation that Brazil could double the amount of beef available for export just by increased efficiencies (raising slaughter rate from 22 per cent to 30 per cent of national herd). This would increase the availability of Brazilian beef exports to over five million tons.

“It is certainly cheaper, but there are good reasons for that. There is widespread slavery on Brazilian cattle ranches (estimated at over 25,000) and amongst the lowest standards of safety and traceability in beef production worldwide. This keeps the beef cheap, and it is increasingly difficult for quality EU producers to compete. This beef is sub-standard, no matter what way you look at it. If Brazilian beef were produced to EU standards, in safe, traceable, ethical traditions, it would cost a lot more. This would certainly level the playing field. Aside from that, it would protect the consumer from the unknown dangers of this ticking time bomb.”

A recent report from the European Union's Food and Veterinary Office outlines a series of concerns over the quality, safety and traceability of Brazilian products.

“EU Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Kyprianou visited Brazil at the start of the year but he has failed to act to protect the EU consumer and the EU farmer,” continued Mr Thompson. “EU farmers are not allowed, nor do they wish, to produce sub-standard beef, because it is not fit for any consumer, so why are Brazilian ranchers, linked as they are to rainforest destruction and slavery, allowed to sell their inferior and untraceable beef to unwitting Europeans?”

Source: Mayo Advertiser
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