Kerry IFA meeting puts Tánaiste in the spotlight

Kerry IFA meeting puts Tánaiste in the spotlight

Varadkar: 'We’re keeping close to the French, countries that might be of a similar view to us'

The EU-Mercosur agreement and its potential impact on Kerry farming provided for the most charged discussion at last Tuesday's online Kerry IFA AGM, at which Tánaiste Leo Varadkar was a guest speaker.

If ratified in its current form, the agreement could see almost 100,000 tonnes of beef extra coming into the EU, levy-free, from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Farming organisations have long questioned the proposed deal, and IFA President Tim Cullinan, who also spoke last Tuesday, accused the EU of speaking with a "forked tongue" on the matter.

"I can't stress enough the importance of the beef sector to rural Ireland," Mr Cullinan said. "We produce 30,000 to 35,000 animals a week, and 90 per cent of those animals have to be exported.

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