KCLR NewsNews & Sport

Farmers to protest outside the Dáil today against Mercosur deal

More than 1,000 farmers will protest outside the Dáil today against the Mercosur deal.

It would see 99-thousand tonnes of beef enter the EU from South America every year.

Sinn Féin will call for the deal to be rejected in the Dáil today, and the Beef Plan group will protest outside.

Meanwhile IFA representatives are off to Brussels today to meet with other farm leaders opposed to the trade deal.

Organisation President Joe Healy’s part of that deputation – he’s been telling KCLR News that “We go to Brussels to meet representatives from COPA and many of the other farm organisations over there. We’re going to meet the Commissioner in charge of food standards & food safety and we’re going to meet a member of the Commissioner for trade’s team, a member of the team for DG agri & a number of other meetings that are set up to see where we can go from here to try & do whatever we can to prevent this deal from going through”.

He notes “it’s negotiated, it’s agreed in principle but it’s not over the line, there’s a lot that can be done & I think that perhaps the Commissioner and other people in the European Commission didn’t expect the kickback that has been there because this is very serious, we’ve been pointing it out for quite a while the seriousness of it”.

Mr Healy adds “And also in relation to the consumer, a race to the bottom on prices is never good for the consumer because over time it erodes choice, it puts producers out of business & particularly producers that are producing to the highest standards in the world which are the Irish & the European producers”.