Just over €1m worth of Brazilian beef was imported into Ireland between 2014 and 2016, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Over the past three years, a total of 208t of Brazilian beef has been imported into Ireland, Minister Creed said.

He confirmed the information in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail’s Agriculture Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue.

“The annual volume of beef imported into Ireland from Brazil is relatively modest. In 2014, 116t, valued at €578,000, was imported into Ireland.

In 2015 these import volumes fell to 70t, at a value of €377,000. A more substantial reduction in 2016 has brought this figure down to 22t, or €98,000 in value terms.

“This information is based on the latest available CSO statistics,” Minister Creed said.

Deputy McConalogue also asked Minister Creed to clarify the details of Brazilian meat imports into the EU over the same timeframe.

Using the latest data available from the European Commission, Brazil exported a total of 421,530t of beef into the EU during the 2014 to 2016 period, according to Minister Creed,

“Broken down by year, imports of beef from Brazil were 144,259t in 2014, 136,705t in 2015 and 140,566t in 2016.

“During this same period of 2014 to 2016, the EU as a whole consumed a total 23.5m tonnes of beef; therefore 1.8% of the total consumed came from Brazil,” he said.

Minister Creed also confirmed that under current regulations, Brazil is currently allowed to import 10,000t of beef into the EU per annum tariff-free.

Calls for a ban on Brazilian Meat Imports

Meanwhile, in light of the recent Brazilian meat scandal, a number of farm organisations, TDs and Irish MEPs have made repeated calls for a complete and immediate ban on Brazilian meat imports into the EU.

Many of the Irish farm organisations were of the opinion that a ban should remain in place until an investigation is carried out and reassurances can be given that Brazilian meat is up to acceptable standards.

The EU Commission has been warned time and time again that standards in Brazil are not up to scratch, the General Secretary of Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association, Eddie Punch, said.

The decision to only de-list specific companies involved in the scandal is simply not enough.

“All discussions about agriculture as part of the Mercosur trade talks also need to be suspended,” he added.