Mercosur: ‘Malmstrom prepared to sacrifice beef for big business and cars’

There is considerable apprehension that Europe, led by Trade Commissioner Cecelia Malmstrom of Sweden, will concede more to the Brazilians on beef, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA’s) National Livestock chairman Angus Woods.

Speaking from the EU-Mercosur trade negotiations in Brussels, Woods said: “All the the key politicians are here locked in a room in Brussels haggling over the details of a possible deal.

Commissioner Malmstrom is prepared to sacrifice more on beef to get more for big business and the automobile sector, with big companies like Volvo from Sweden benefiting.

Woods accused Commissioner Malmstrom of favouring big business over citizens and abandoning the European principle of a ‘Union of Equals’.

He said it is a scandal that an EU Commissioner is allowed to “bulldoze her way on trade to satisfy big business” over the interests of EU citizens.

The chairman called on Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan to stand up to Trade Commissioner Malmstrom against her “sellout to the Brazilians” on beef in the negotiations.

“Commissioner Malmstrom has already conceded way too much in the giveaway of an additional 70,000t of EU beef market access.

“Ireland needs to say enough is enough.”

‘Clear contradiction’

Meanwhile, yesterday IFA president Joe Healy accused the EU Trade Commissioner of blatantly undermining European policy and values on the environment and animal welfare.

Also Read: Mercosur: IFA rails against EU beef ‘sell-out’ in Brussels

“There is a clear contradiction at EU level. One arm of the commission is prepared to do this deal and undermine the environment and animal welfare, while European farmers are asked to play their part on climate change and maintain the highest welfare standards.”