Latest from EU Member States

Ireland | Beef Plan Movement Steps up Protest

On Wednesday the 10th of July an estimated 2,500 farmers took to the streets of Dublin to protest against the proposed Mercosur deal. The protest was organised by Beef Plan, a voluntary not for profit organisation set up in October 2018 by a small group of farmers from Meath (in Ireland’s centre-east). Since then, its membership has grown to over 20,000. So who are they and what do they want?  […]

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Brussels | Farmers, Environmentalists tackle EU-Mercosur Deal

Several organisation representing farmers and environmentalists came together in Brussels to protest against the Mercosur trade deal yesterday. Responding to a call from the Belgian farmers group FUGEA, farmers and activists gathered outside the European Commission to protest against the threat posed by Mercosur to farmer incomes, the environment, and the rights of indigenous peoples in South America. […]

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Farm Diversification – Agroforestry and Agritourism in Ireland

What future strategies exist for livestock farmers in Ireland? Beef farmers are struggling, and fighting over a EU/Irish government handout of E100 million due to clauses attached. A small number have opted for a different, more diversified route. Read about Jane Shackleton’s organic farm with Galloway cattle, sheep and an agri-tourism enterprise in the lakelands of Ireland.  […]

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Ireland’s “Livestock-Industrial-Complex”

This long read by Frank Armstrong gives a background into what he calls the livestock industrial complex. Part history, part contemporary agri-food overview, part health and environmental case and part personal note, this article is speaks of power and how it operates in different spheres. These include politics, media and nutritional advice, all through the prism of livestock farming in Ireland. […]

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TTIP: “very negative impacts” says Irish Farmers Association

As EU Trade Commissioner Cecile Malmstrom visited Ireland last Friday, The Irish Farmers Association (IFA), Ireland’s largest farming organisation, has expressed serious concerns about the transatlantic trade and investment partnership, TTIP. The organisation made reference to newly published Copenhagen Economics report, commissioned by the Irish government, which identifies, in the words of IFA President Eddie Downey “very negative impacts for Ireland’s vital beef sector”. According to the IFA “following a meeting yesterday with the authors of the report, both Copenhagen Economics and officials from the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment accepted that TTIP presented very significant risks to both our beef and white meats sector.” Beef is the largest agri-food sector in Ireland, employing over 70,000. The Copenhagen Economics report was commissioned to assess the potential impacts of TTIP on Ireland. While positive on potential jobs growth, citing up to 10,000 new jobs for Ireland, it also predicts that the Irish beef sector will be badly hit by TTIP. The IFA’s new position paper on TTIP says “as a fundamental principle, EU negotiators must insist on equivalence of standards. […]