Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed has expressed concern about a Mercusor trade deal that could seriously disadvantage the Irish and European beef sector. Minister Creed was speaking at a meeting of the European Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers meeting.
“I have grave concerns about the offer of a beef tariff rate quota in last month’s round of discussions, which gives rise to potentially very serious consequences for the Irish and EU beef sector, in particular, “ Minister Creed said. “This comes at a time when that market is in a delicate balance and is already faced with the potentially very serious consequences of Brexit.
“Against the Brexit backdrop, market diversification is of the utmost importance. In that regard, I would like to thank Commissioner Hogan for his work in helping to develop and expand trade opportunities. There have been many positive developments in this area in recent times both of trade agreements and market access improvements – and none more so than in the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. Later this week, I will lead a Trade Mission to Japan and Korea to build on this opportunity for the Irish agri-food sector.”
Ministers also had the opportunity to discuss the sustainable use of pesticides. According to Minister Creed, it was important for the EU to continue working together to reduce the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment as a whole. He noted that fact-finding missions conducted by the Commission have identified a range of good practices operating in Member States. Ministers also discussed sustainable soil management.