Protecting Livestock Sector Should Be A 'Red Line Issue'

IRELAND – Livestock and agriculture should be a ‘red line issue’, said John Bryan, Irish Farmers Association President at the EU/US trade deal in Dublin Castle last week.
calendar icon 18 June 2013
clock icon 2 minute read

His message was loud and clear. The Irish sector cannot be sacrificed through trade talks with the USA.

At the talk, Mr Bryan presented recent findings of an IFA study that showed income generated at farmgate level is more than doubled as the products pass through various sectors after being produced.

The study, by Professor Alan Renwick of University College Dublin, calculated €2.3 billion of farm gate level equates to €5.7 billion to the wider economy.

Mr Bryan told the Dublin audience that trade talks, as they stand, could result in thousands of jobs being lost. “A deal would inflict severe damage on the Irish livestock sector as a result of a substantial increase in beef imports from an EU-US trade deal.”

The IFA President stated that the importance of agri-food industries to Ireland’s economy is similar to the safeguarding of the French audio-visual sector. He urged Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation to fight the Irish corner, like the French did.

Supporting 100,000 farmers’ livelihoods and a further 50,000 in the wider economy, the sheep and cattle sectors are fundamental.

Mr Bryan added: “It is clear Canada is seeking access for a substantial volume of beef imports into the EU and there is no doubt the USA will be seeking a major increase in the volumes they already have on the valuable EU market”.

Use of ractopamine, the beta-agonist banned across Europe, is commonplace in Canada and the US pig and cattle industries. This is a negative impact of dipping into the cross Atlantic market, warned Mr Bryan.

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