The end of the Irish Beef Industry?


This seems to be pretty stark on a number of fronts -

  1. it will surely decimate Irish Beef Farming with clear implications for rural Ireland
  2. Coupled with no-deal Brexit there is potential for economic catasttrophe outside the multi national/tech/ pharma bubble
  3. There are likely to be serious political ramifications in Ireland should this proceed. The rise of anti EU sentiment (currently low) is almost guaranteed, again outside the metropolitan bubbles which will actually benefit from the same deal.
  4. All credibility is immediately removed from European/Fine Gael posturing around Green issues as soon as this is implemented. Outsourcing food production to dodgy South American sources from the greenest Beef industry on earth in Ireland really highlights the fact that the broader movement is little more than a revenue raising vehicle.
  5. This has the potential to end Fine Gael for the foreseeable. Phil Hogan is the relevant Commissioner. This almost guarantees that Fianna Fáil will lead the next Government.

We’re entering uncharted waters to the extent that this deal, coupled with no deal Brexit have the potential to set Ireland on a very different course than has been the case for the past thirty years.


Yeah, they just got special access, separate to EU membership to the entire Chinese market.

Greater fool you for falling for their poor mouth routine, they know it gets sympathy from the elite inside the M50 as so many mammys and daddys came from the country.

Every year of my live growing up in beef country was the death knell of the beef industry, yet, pardon the pun, they are absolutely creaming it, per hectare return on beef has increased 50% in the last 20 years, and that’s before we talk about land switched to dry stock from cereal.

There’s a definite disconnect between agri Ireland and urban Ireland, the latter doesn’t understand that the former is now a massively profitable serious global industry.


According to the information contained in the above link 95% of Irish Beef exports are to the U.K. Or the EU. Of that total it says 50% are to the U.K and 45% to the EU.

Therefore, given the possibility of a combined No Deal Brexit/access to EU for Brazilian and other cheaper South American substitutes, I think it’s fair to speculate as to the potential for rocky days in the Irish Beef industry in the near.

Assuming the above was to come to pass, I think it’s further fair comment to speculate as to the potential political ramifications of same, given the prominent role of the farming lobby in Irish life along with the political fallout from a hard border running from Dundalk to Donegal.

As I’ve suggested above, I would expect Fine Gael to be held responsible for both, especially by the Farming lobby since they sent Big Thick Phil to Europe to represent their interest… as opposed to sell them out for a pat on the head and a pension.

Finally, IMO it seems further worth pointing out the hypocrisy of a ruling elite that has very publicly pinned it’s colours to the Greenie mast and made commitments which are likely to result in ordinary plebs incurring a tax hike (on the pretense of saving the planet or some shite), whilst (via this deal) paving the way for more and more hectares of Amazonian rainforest to be cleared to graze cattle…not to mention the forced clearance of indigenous tribes. It’s almost as if they don’t really care about the environment after all…


Irish beef is going to lose either way in Britain as Tesco has already being selling non-EU certified Brazilian beef. I think they’ve been pulled up in Ireland already for bringing in untraceable chicken marked simply “may be product of Thailand or Turkey”.

The biggest beef product to the UK is mince and that can’t be replaced by other markets. Brexit or not Britain is pursuing its post empire cheap food policy regardless of quality. They were already facing the most fines for importing counterfeit electrical and textile knockoffs into the EU and they’re starting to do the same with food.


Cattle farming is already the biggest driver of deforestation, Greenpeace says.

In a statement, Brazil said the deal included eliminating tariffs on products such as orange juice, instant coffee and fruit.

Meanwhile, producers of other products such as meat, sugar and ethanol would have greater access to the EU market through quotas, the statement said

The EU wants to increase access for firms that make industrial products and cars - which are currently subject to tariffs of up to 35% - and also enable them to compete for public contracts in Mercosur countries.


Environmentalists in particular fear global consequences. Brazil’s Bolsonaro, who Malmstrom credits with reviving the stalled talks, is considered close to the agricultural industry and not an ally in efforts to combat climate change.

The Amazon rainforest plays a major role in capturing global carbon-dioxide emissions and could be opened up further to deforestation.

So eh climate change??


Bolsonaro has publicly curbed his racist views on indigenous peoples (in 1998, he famously said that “it’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry hasn’t been as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated the Indians”). Instead, he said that they have the right to explore their land “without intermediaries”. He accused international NGOs of being “enemies” and criticized Ibama’s fine.


Just back from a holiday in Germany and Portugal.
in both places beef on menus specific cuts labelled as irish or Brazilian
Irish beef commanded a premium over Brazilian, Brazilian over local.

i don’t expect that’ll change with Mercosur, and I expect that the relative pricing will remain with south amercian beef priced pretty much the same, but more profit to south america and less in tariffs to the EU (i.e. the price at point of sale to the consumer remains relatively unchanged).


Precisely, even in south America I’ve seen Irish beef command a premium over the domestic product.


What, they can’t even tell what species it is? :icon_biggrin:


I do think this is bad for local industry, and that there are environmental implications for the Amazon.

But… if I were a Brazilian, and a farmer, I might think:
Why must I, in the developing world, not earn a living to protect rich farmers in Ireland? And, indeed, why is my country responsible to keeping forests when the developed world hacked theirs down for farming long before they industrialized and started poisoning the globe.

Is there not an argument that we re-forest Europe instead?



99,000 tonnes is far lower than Mercossur wanted and is a small piece of the European beef market: 1.25% it looks like?

And the 99,000 tonnes seems to be well below the amount already imported with tariffs, so represents a slice of imports tariff free, with the rest remaining subject to tariff.


Fair points. There are lots of potential reforestation opportunities in Europe. Unfortunately it is still the case that tropical forests both sequester more carbon and have higher biodiversity, so cutting down less and growing more is more beneficial in the tropics. In the future the answer might be artificial carbon capture, which would allow the developed world to shoulder its share of the burden.


While irish beef is exported wholesale to China, we can scarf down Brazilian and Argentinian beef. Argentinian beef wansnt exactly cheap where i used to buy it.



Anyone want to take a guess at what accrued leverage FG could bring to the table here to spin this one back from the brink for Ireland?


Yes, it does seem to tieing up nicely for FG announcing they’d secured protective restrictions, which are already in the deal. I swear having grown up in beef country every year has been the deathknell for the industry yet every year it grows bigger and bigger.


Finton gets his teeth into the Beef Industry.

I wonder if we followed the live calf export trade if we’d be as equally horrified as the Greyhound expose.


For those of us who don’t subscribe to the IT, could you post a summary of the article?