Deputy Martin Kenny
Sinn Féin TD for Sligo-Leitrim, Martin Kenny has described yesterday’s passing of the CETA deal in the European Parliament as a devastating blow for Irish agriculture, farming families, and rural Ireland.
Deputy Kenny said that Irish beef farmers are facing a very bleak future because of what he desccribes as the failure by Fine Gael MEPs to stand up and vote against this "disastrous deal".
“Canada has been approved to supply the EU with 50,000 tonnes of beef which equates to hundreds of thousands head of cattle. Irish beef prices are only going to go one way and that is down," noted the Sinn Féin TD.
“An EU Commission study has predicted a ‘steep drop in beef meat prices by between 8-16%’ as a result of CETA and similar trade deals.
“It will be the farmer producing weanlings and store cattle who feel the price cuts first and the factories will use it as an excuse to drive the prices down.
“Small farmers in the west of Ireland will not be able to compete with this and will no doubt go under as a result.
“All farm organisations need to come out in strong opposition to this deal and when this deal comes before the Dáil, my colleagues in Sinn Féin and I will strongly oppose it.
“While Fine Gael MEPs shamefully chose to support CETA over the interests of Irish farmers, I hope this Government has the guts to stand up and reject this deal and ensure the survival of the Irish Agri-sector.”