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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘No one will ever convince me that Brazilian beef will ever match grass-fed Irish beef’

In this article, Fianna Fáil MEP, Billy Kelleher, discusses his views on the MERCOSUR trade deal and explains why he believes it is bad for the plant and Irish farmers alike.

The Irish government must categorically commit to opposing the MERCOSUR trade deal between the European Union and Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, writes Fianna Fáil MEP, Billy Kelleher.

The MERCOSUR deal is bad for the planet, and Irish farmers and should be rejected in its entirety.

It is beyond absurd for Ireland to support a deal that facilitates the bulldozing of the Amazon Rainforest and the forced eviction of indigenous populations to enable Brazil to produce hundreds of millions of cattle to be shipped across the Atlantic to European markets.

Germany is driving this deal to enable German car manufacturers to sell their cars to motorists in South America.


The objective of the EU’s flagship food programme, the Farm to Fork strategy, is to have high-quality food produced as locally as possible. No one will ever convince me that poor quality Brazilian beef will ever match grass-fed Irish beef.

MERCOSUR would see EU markets flooded with cheap, low-quality beef from Brazil at a time when domestic beef farmers are already under pressure.

It makes zero sense from an agricultural or environmental point of view. That is why Ireland must take a stand at EU level.

In July 2019, the Dáil voted 84 to 46 on a motion condemning the deal.

In that motion, Fianna Fáil TDs voted in favour of text that stated that the motion should be binding on all future governments.

My party’s ministers and TDs should look back at what they voted in favour of in 2019. They should stay faithful to that position while in government.

Trade agreements are, in general, very positive. I have consistently defended and supported other EU trade agreements because free trade is a positive.

However, MERCOSUR is a poor deal for our planet and for our farmers. The government must reject it.

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