The agreement by the EU to allow for the importation of 100,000 tonnes of beef from South America through the Mercosur trade agreement “not only undermines the livelihoods of farmers but is also damaging to our climate”, warns Denis Naughten TD.
“The EU already produces enough beef to meet its needs and beef production in the EU is four times more carbon efficient than Brazilian beef imports,” stated Denis Naughten.
“It is also important to point out that 70% of the deforestation of the Amazon – the lungs of our planet – is to provide land for cattle ranches and now the EU wants to reward this practice in this new trade deal.
“Some 11% of the greenhouse gas emissions involved in food production are directly linked to food transportation. Surely, it makes far more sense to bring beef from Dublin to Brussels, a distance of 961 km, than 11,000 km from Buenos Aires to Brussels?
“The EU & its Member States cannot accept a situation where trade agreements lead to an overall increase in global emissions, by shutting down production in Europe and pushing up emissions in other parts of the world.
“Bizarrely there is an acceptance at EU level that we must give special treatment to certain industries with high carbon emissions, in order to keep them in a much regulated Europe, rather than a free-for-all outside our borders.
“We now need to do the same on trade where there must be a level playing field on carbon efficiency when it comes to beef production,” concluded Denis Naughten.