John Bryan in the Press
Brazilian Beef Banned
JUSTIN MCCARTHY LIVESTOCK EDITOR
Irish Farmers Journal 02/02/08
THE European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Affairs, Markos Kyprianou, has announced an immediate ban on Brazilian beef imports, effective from today (Thursday). In the run-up to Christmas, the EU Commission had taken steps to increase the regulations on Brazilian imports after a determined two-year campaign by the Irish Farmers Journal and the IFA which highlighted low standards. The new regulations were due to come into force on 1 February and were expected by the Commission to limit the number of Brazilian farms registered to export beef to Europe to just 300.
However, the Irish Farmers Journal understands that in defiance of the Commission, the Brazilian authorities this week submitted a total of 2,500 approved holdings. In response to Brazil’s failure to take the new regulations seriously, Commissioner Kyprianou imposed a total ban on all beef imports.
Speaking at the IFA AGM on Tuesday, EU Commissioner for Agriculture Mariann Fischer Boel had signalled that a complete ban was possible if Brazil did not ‘play fair’.
“If they want to export beef to us, that beef must meet the agreed standards. Standards which Europeans demand”, she said.
She warned: “If our solution fails, we will find a better solution, which ultimately could be a total ban, because our animal and food safety standards are non-negotiable.”
IFA agog over John Bryan
“An all-star performance” was how one farmer that attended the IFA livestock meeting in Athenry on Tuesday night described John Bryan’s performance as Livestock Chairman.
Bryan, whose four year tenure as head of the livestock committee is drawing to a close, was thanked on numerous occasions from the floor for all that he had done for farmers. At the end of the meeting, farmer after farmer waited to thank the Kilkenny man for not only delivering the Suckler Welfare Scheme but also his relentless work highlighting the issues with Brazilian imports.
Incoming Livestock Chair¬man, Michael Doran, will certainly have big shoes to fill.
While John Bryan is saying nothing, the same cannot be said for his supporters who are now effectively campaigning for him – two years away from any election! It is not fair to the incumbent president, Padraig Walshe, and the Dealer now plans to impose a ban on any further election moves.
However, as always, readers expect the Dealer to be first with the news and I can confirm that John Bryan will be a candidate for the IFA presidency. Correspondence closed!
Brazilian imports slashed
JUSTIN MCCARTHY IN BRUSSELS
NEW regulations agreed by the EU Commission in Brussels yesterday (Wednesday) will slash the number of farms in Brazil approved to export Beef to the EU to approximately 300, if properly implemented. Figures indicate that here are currently 15,000 farms approved for export to he EU. Industry sources predict the new EU criteria have the potential to see the 330,000 tonnes of Brazilian beef imports falling by 90 %.
Commissioner Kyprianou presented his proposals to his fellow Commissioners and to the EU Veterinary Committee yesterday.
This follows the FVO report on their second mission to Brazil in November. Failings in Brazilian beef production have been the subject of controversy since the Irish Farmers Journal/IFA expose of May 2006. A return visit in May 2007 showed little improvement in Brazilian beef traceability and veterinary practices.
The new regulations will force the Brazilian authorities to establish a list of approved holdings from which animals will be eligible for export to the EU. Standards on these farms must guarantee that the beef they produce fully meets the requirements for imports of fresh deboned and matured bovine meat to the EU. The Brazilian authorities will have to fully audit and inspect these farms, with full reports made available to the EU. In what is seen as a highly significant move, the Commission will ensure that the list of approved holdings is made publicly available.
IFA president Padraig Walshe said: “Only an outright ban on Brazilian beef would fully safeguard the EU against FMD.” However, he said the decision in Brussels was a significant step forward and acknowledged the move by Commissioner Kyprianou to take action. He expressed appreciation of the persistent determination of Agriculture Commissioner Marian Fischer Boel who had insisted on equivalent standards for imports.
While the regulations will not come into force until the end of January, the acceptance by the EU Commission that Brazilian beef fails to meet EU standards is likely to see reputable beef outlets immediately reassess their trading in Brazilian beef. IFA livestock committee chairman John Bryan said: “The Irish Farmers Journal/IFA campaign has been fully vindicated with the admission by the Commission that there are serious non-compliances on standards and controls in Brazil.”
The news from Brussels will certainly provide a welcome boost to the beleaguered Irish beef sector. Irish farmers have suffered heavy financial losses over the past year, with prices failing to respond to higher cereal prices. John Bryan said: “If properly implemented, the new measures should severely restrict volumes from Brazil. Much tighter supplies, coupled with a severe restriction on Brazilian imports, should see an immediate increase in cattle prices.”
29,000 farmers lose out ‘Coughlan must resolve savage €95m cuts’
Huge Portlaoise meeting calls for action
By John Shirley
Irish Farmers Journal 11/06/05
OVER 1,300 farmers from all over Ire¬land packed into a Portlaoise Hotel this week for the IFA protest rally against the 2004 Beef Premium cut which is now estimated to total €95 million.
IFA President John Dillon said that the size and angry mood of the huge crowd sent a powerful message to Minister for Agricul¬ture Mary Coughlan that she must secure a solution to this savage cut on the low margin drystock sector. He said that the premium overshoot was a direct conse¬quence of Ireland giving the lead on full decoupling and that he would personally press home the issue when new EU Farm Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel visits Ireland in two weeks tune.
Senior Department of Agriculture official Paud Evans is due to meet EU Commission officials in Brussels next Thursday to pur-’sue the issue, while Minister for Agricul¬ture and Food Mary Coughlan will raise Ireland’s case again at the Council of Minis¬ters on 20 June.
IFA Livestock Chairman John Bryan called on the EU to honour a commitment given by former Commissioner Franz Fischler two years ago that Ireland would not lose out by opting for full decoupling. Bryan will now intensify the IFA campaign on the premium cut, taking the case to Dail Eireann with a presentation to the joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture and lobbying of TDs and Senators.
He said that 29,000 farmers face an aver¬age loss of €3,295 if the premium cuts are not reversed. “This amounts to cuts ranging, from €53 to €78 a head, which is more than the net profit on these cattle.”
At the Portlaoise meeting there were calls from the floor for a farmer non co-operation strategy on Cross Compliance inspections until the overshoot issue was resolved. Others criticised the Minister and Depart¬ment for not anticipating the overshoot, given the vast data pool available to the Department through CMMS.
Other speakers from the floor called for action from the Taoiseach on the issue and predicted massive opposition to any refer¬endum on the EU Constitution unless the cuts are reversed.
IFA Livestock Director Kevin Kinsella estimated the overshoot at a massive 18%, or 249,074 head, most of which were young bulls. Unless reversed, this will lead to a 27% cut, averaging €58.57 a head on the bull and nine-month premium and €37 a head cut on the 21-month premium.
Kevin Kinsella pointed out that 200,000 units were confiscated from the Irish beef premium quota in 1996. He also showed that the EU beef support budget was underspent by €278 last year.
Pressure mounting on cattle exports
By Paul Mooney Irish Farmers Journal 11/03/04
DESPITE its Supreme Court victory ferry company Pandoro is this week continuing to carry livestock lorries to the Continent — and is taking bookings from exporters for next week.
But the Court outcome heaps more uncertainty on cattle farmers already fearful about Commissioner David Byrne’s proposals to cut maximum journey times and place other costly restrictions on the trade.
It remains unclear whether the ferry company will adopt the practice of its parent company in the UK and switch to carrying only breeding livestock. It is now free to do so after the Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted the six year old inter¬locutory injunction that has obliged it to continue carrying livestock lorries on its sailings from Ireland, hi Court senior counsel for the company indicated that it was the company’s intention to cease accepting livestock lorries.
The Court decision is likely to add further to the political pressure already building around the whole live exports issue in the run up to the June elections. After the Supreme Court decision the farm organisations joined the Opposition in demanding that the Govern¬ment intervene as a matter of urgency.
The Government must now bring in legislation to compel the ferry company to carry approved livestock lorries as a condition of its license to operate in Ireland, IFA president John Dillon warned. He has now sought a meeting with Minister for Agriculture Joe Walsh on the issue. Fine Gael’s agriculture spokesman Billy Timmins raised his concerns in the Dail with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. ICMSA has now written to Ahern demanding action.
On Monday night well over 2,000 farmers travelled to the IFA’s export rally in Ennis. The a dance demanded that cattle i ers should not be shut off from single EU markets by unsound animal welfare restrictions.
The meeting heard details of Teagasc trials which found there was no adverse impai cattle when exported under ing rules. The researcher inv warned that Byrne’s propos abolish staging posts and cattle sit out rest periods on 1 could actually result in more ness in the animals.