Opposition to Mercosur deal from across the livestock sector in Europe

After more than 20 years of negotiations, the European Commission reached on June 28th, 2019, on behalf of the European Union, a political agreement on a comprehensive trade agreement with Mercosur. That agreement, which will facilitate the access to the European market to almost 100 000 tonnes of south-American meat, represents a threat to the economic situation of the European livestock sector and to the health of European consumers.

This political agreement took place despite a lengthy and strong opposition of the European livestock sector – and especially the Italian, Spanish, French, Irish and Polish ones-, as well as great concerns expressed by some Member states and an important part of the civil society as regard health, societal and environmental issues.

Indeed, increasing importations in the EU of south-American bovine meat, benefiting of indisputable competitiveness advantages due to far less demanding health, traceability and environmental requirements, will destabilize the bovine meat European sector.

In addition, almost 100 000 tonnes of south-American bovine meat, produced with substances banned in Europe, with little or no environmental regulations largely responsible of deforestation, will soon be offered to European consumers.

This is without recalling that most of the south-American bovine meat is produced in Brazil, whose subpar system of traceability and health control is worldwide known, as exemplified by recent cases of fraud and exports of tainted meat towards Europe. 

Our agricultural, environmental and societal values are the opposite of those promoted by Mercosur partners. The health of our consumers is directly concerned. From an economic point of view, our farmers will not be able to face this new challenge, in a context already weakened by the cumulative effect of trade agreements and the uncertainties related to Brexit.

In such conditions, the European livestock sector, hereby represented by Assocarni (Italy), Assoprovac (Spain), the Irish Farmers’ Association (Ireland), Interbev (France) and PZPBM (Pologne), firmly condemns this political agreement and calls all members of the European Parliament and Member states to reject the agreement.

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