Worried about cheaper products flooding the EU market and pricing them out of business, some European agri-food producers, and in particular the beef sectors in Ireland and France, expressed disappointment with the deal.
In a joint statement, the EU farming trade groups, Copa and Cogeca, said: “[We] deeply regret the substantial concessions made in the agricultural chapter with Mercosur. Considering the huge difference in production standards, the imports of Mercosur’s agricultural goods will de facto establish double standards and unfair competition for some key European production sectors, putting their viability at stake.”
The president of the Irish Farmers Association Joe Healy said it was a “bad deal for Ireland and for Irish farmers, the environment and for EU standards and consumers”.
“The ‘turning a blind eye’ approach to double standards and environmental degradation in Brazil is indefensible,” he added.