Farmers protest against WTO negotiations...

Alright 10,000 apparently, so they put the march regarding Health to shame…

But can someone explain the following arithmetic from RTE for me…


50k farmers and a further 50k in food processing industry/support services is the claim. Certainly the beef industry would be wiped with the current EU WTO proposals. Just as the last round wiped out the sugar industry. Virtually no dry stock farmer, irrespective of scale, would survive at 2.30/kg with the cost base in Ireland.

How are we having food riots in one country and farmers going out of business in another country? What’s up with the world?

Stop pandering to this bleating herd.

Putting aside their ludicrious exagerations (50,000 farmers out of work blah blah blah), the upside of this for tens, no hundreds, of millions of people around the world, not to mention the people in this country that pay ludicrous prices and have poor choice for food.

If they have squandered the billions and billions of tax payers money they have conned over the decades then tough.

Do we need to protect the beef industry at its current scale at any cost?

  • kyoto protocol means the taxpayer is paying for co2 emissions from cattle
  • have increases in energy and cereal/feed prices changed the economics of e.g biomass crops vs beef?
  • if meat is produced for export but can be produced cheaper abroad then it has to be subsidised. the taxpayer won’t tolerate that situation forever. so isn’t it sensible to start looking at alternatives rather than just hoping WTO will go away?

The Irish people have to wake up to themselves and tell this self interest group where to get off.

Forget the economic arguments, try the moral ones (that Ireland tells the world it is sooo big on).

How on earth can you look the rest world in the face and ask to sell them goods and services (exports) if you turn around and say we’re not going to buy any of yours.

At one level acquiescing to this group is hypocritical in the extreme.

Isn’t American agriculture heavily subsidised.
I’m not read up on this but weren’t Mexican farmers wiped
out after the trade agreement with the US?
Maybe the farmers have a point.

Firstly, no other agricultural sector in the world is as heavily sibsidised as that in the EU.

Secondly, no other country/trade block in the world (except prehaps Japan) have the level of trade restrictions as the EU.

Third, no other country in he world aggressively dumps agricultural produce on world markets as the EU - often outrageously in the form of “foreign aid” - thereby killing markets. What a joke.

Finally, what the hell does it matter what other countries do? It is in fact irrelevant. Pandering to this mob (it is a mob as proven again yesterday) creates a net loss. Everybody loses so this small minority can win.

To paraphrase Tony Wilson “Perhaps I should read more”.

If thats what they believe they are entitled to protest and to put their case forward to the best of their ability. Same with the CIF and any other group that we agree or disagree with.

Whats in Irelands interest?

very good question. Climate Change, Food Security & Energy Security are the biggest issues facing us this century. I am convinced the WTO are compounding these problems rather than helping to solve them.

The WTO is supposed to have no role other than freeing up trade. And in doing that it would in fact negate against the “problems” (be they real or perceived) that you quote.

All participants signed up to this. It evolved from a system of rounds of treaties between countries.

Unfortunately it is badly failed as it is used as a political football not an instrument of economic deregulation as it should be.

Whether the problems are real or perceived, take your pick. Food inflation, $115 oil and melting ice caps seem real enough to me.

You didnt answer any questions though …

If the WTO’s function is to free up trade and theres all this countries just dying to export all this cheap food, why are there food riots and food inflation?

Seems to me and Im not a beef farmer, theres a downside. The upside might be cheaper beef for consumers… funny I don’t recall benefiting from cheaper sugar though… it might also be we lose on quality (were one of the very few countries in the world that has decent milk, a small issue i know but I’d like it to stay that way, it wont if milk is shipped from the other side of the world)

This article by George Monbiot, is just one example where WTO rules are causing real damage to the planet, with very little economic benefit to the country producing the stuff… … ssil-fuel/

Maybe you could provide some facts as to how the changing the rules on beef would enrich the lives of ordinary people in the exporting countries. Some real data on how living standards or wages have risen for the ordinary people in the sugar exporting countries would help. I suspect it will merely enrich a few very large producers and some shareholders but convince me otherwise…

There is a new report from the UN FAO, UNESCO, UNEP, World Bank, WHO…
who seem to be pretty convinced that trade liberalisation helps the poor of the world. You can read the report here … temID=2713

Here is the Guardians summary of implications for trade … tednations

Seems like a lot well-informed people think trade reform is a good idea.

Because you have propped up output artificially in Ireland. The size of the farming sector should have been allowed to adjust naturally over decades. Instead you have a massive artificial overhang.

Why are people starving? Well, go for a more complex set of issues, including corruption and poor governance - just take even a quick glance at Zimbabwe.

But good ole’ EU help out too, by taking the mountains of excess production that came because they were payng farmers to produce it and then “gifting it” to less developed nations where it promptly put their farmers out of business. Yep, produced in the EU at, say €5 and then provided to sub Saharan African at 10 cents, sometimes just distriubuted free in the form of “aid”.

Because the WTO has really accomplished nothing because countries like Ireland, France etc. have stonewalled all change. What you are seeing is, in part only, due to failure of the WTO to do what it was supposed to do.

It is hard to take someone serious who says tnings like Ireland is the only place in the world with “decent milk”. Off hand, I have lived in, or visited and drunk milk in some of the following:
New Zealand
Singapore (they import Aussie milk mostly)

What a load of tosh.

Besides, this “qulaity” argument is a commonly used one. It is quite plainly bogus, when one considers that give a consumer a choice and if quality is that different, they will chose. If the milk is that good, producers have nothing to fear. I suspect that consumers wouldn’t really be willing to pay the premium. Japan use that one for rice.

Why haven’t sugr prices come down? Have they? I haven’t seen any stats. But remeber that a large proportion of the cost is borne by consumers in their tax bill (€1.8bn for sugar alone), not at the till. And also realise that import of sugar to the EU is still restricted and will remain so until 2020.

Monbiot??? Are you joking?? A know-nothing moron. Being me something credible and I will comment.

As for the benefits of free trade. Well it is all around you. The EU, Japan, Korea, Thailand, China, India etc. etc. etc.

Those that engage in trading with others prosper. Those that don’t (Cuba, North Korea, early post independence Ireland) fail badly. Economics predicts it and that is what we see.

It never fails to astound me how people don’t even question that fact that trade between Leisnter and Muncter is a good thing, but trade between Ireland and Wherever is a bad thing.

Not to be seen siding with the farmers too much but I do think they have a point about food quality. Food is heavily regulated for safety and quality purposes in the EU (farmers have no choice). These same regulations would not apply to alot of countries looking to export to the EU. Either we allow full free trade and get rid of quality procedures or we insist countries we import from have the same quality procedures as us.

Another classic protectionist ploy. Create regulatory barriers. This also plays well to the natural xenophobia that occurs everywhere (just look to this thread, only Ireland has decent milk etc. etc.)

Ask youself why the EU don’t do something that would provide better protection to consumers; namely enunciate the risks and test for them.

If you were that worried, you really wouldn’t leave the country would you? Besides, think of all those Brazialins and Argentinians dying every day from that nasty disease infested beef that they are forced to eat. :unamused:

Its we buddy!

Point taken that we produce more beef than we need for our consumption. That one of the reasons we joined the common market, now the EU, to export, We traded our fishing industry. We also have a massive Viagra overhang which we export … We import bananas… We trade. Its life.

A completely different question but you do have some valid points there… Its not as simple as your analysis so lets not go there…

Economics Bullshit and excuses. The world would be perfect if only… Theres a big list in the etc, the US, Japan, China, Brazil, Britain developing nations etc etc etc etc so stop whinging about it being Irelands fault. Remember, you’re one of us now!

Please dont misquote me, I said one of the few places…
I have worked in most of those places you mentioned I never want to taste that UHT shit again.

Quality is a real issue. Remember Foot and Mouth? Yes it is sometimes used as an excuse but often homogenised shite is cheaper to produce and results in quality no longer being a real option for ordinary people. We should be feeding ourselves quality whether Irish produced or not.

No. Sugar is an important component of most processed food, apart from the cost of sugar, it should have meant reductions in other foodstuffs… instead we have the opposite.
On the taxes bullshit…Have our taxes came down? Have we spent 1.8B extra on health etc … Stop waffling, give me facts.

Play the ball, not the man. Address the central points of the article! He provides references for you to crosscheck. And if you find any inaccuracies, I’d like to hear them… I change my opinion according to facts not character assassination.

FYI, one of the predictions of the anti biofuels brigade was food inflation, and that article was written in 2005. Pretty credible to me.

Please don’t attribute opinions to me which you can then refute.

I have given one example of free trade being manifestly bad… where so called clean biofuels are produced in Malysia and shipped to Europe. By any standards this is lunacy, rainforests chopped down to grow palm oil. Because of free trade agreements, we can’t ban this though we should ban all Malaysian biofuels. Why? Its destroying rainforests, accelerating climate change, just to enrich a few corporates.

Refute this with data or accept it as a good point. Lets try to raise the level of debate and we both might learn something.

The vast majority of free trade is good. Im not anti free trade at all, and would consider ignoring the farmers if it is in Ireland’s interests. But stop ranting and start rationalizing why it is in our interests to do this. You haven’t given me any data to show why you believe we should ignore the protests of the farmers.

Im still waiting, But change the record, Im tired of being misquoted and insulted…

The EU has achieved its aims, theres peace on the continent, members have benefited (us definitely), as the new countries are benefiting, which is all great, its an example of an institution which works. Free/liberalized trade is good, we just need to make sure it addresses the challenges of the next century.

World Trade Rules should exist to help mankind, not primarily corporate shareholders.

Good points on Ireland post independence, isolationism is not an option, but neither is blind adherence to one economics theory.

MadPad, I trust you have more than a ‘working knowledge’ of this subject such that you can argue it?

The pedant.

Ah my conscience returns …

:slight_smile::):slight_smile: Well I enjoy the odd steak :slight_smile::):):slight_smile:

That would be like my electrical generation experience:
I’ve started my generator without having to phone a friend.