Increased competition from Australia as a result of the new free trade deal is a “dangerous scenario” that will undermine Irish beef exports to the UK, claim the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).
Tim Cullinan, IFA president, described the deal as setting a perilous precedent and added: “It’s precisely the dangerous scenario that signalled following the Brexit vote in June, 2016.
“Trade deals between the UK and third countries have the potential to undermine what is a very important market for our beef exports.”
Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue confirmed the UK was in the biggest export market with 45 per cent of the volume and value. Irish beef was worth more than €2.3bn and almost 518,000 tonnes was exported in 2020.
“Given the importance of the UK market to the sector, this is a matter of concern,” said Mr McConalogue.
He added that there would be opportunities for competition for Irish beef exports on UK market with the proposed Australian Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) of 35,000 tonnes increasing to 110,000 tonnes in year 10.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has submitted an application for a PGI for grass-fed Irish beef to the Commission.
“If approved, this could help significantly in all our premium beef markets – including in the UK,” Mr McConalogue concluded.