ICMSA president John Comer
There have been further calls this week for an immediate ban on Brazilian meat products following the revelation of a number of scandals in that country's meat industry.
John Comer, president of the ICMSA, said that unless there was an immediate ban on Brazilian beef until independent guarantees could be given, the EU's commitment to protect consumers would be called into question.
“This is surely in the interests of EU consumers and also recognises the absolute need to be fair to EU farmers who have to meet exacting and costly standards and then are expected to compete against possibly very substandard imports,” said Mr Comer.
The farm leader said that substandard imports had probably hit farmer incomes in 2016.
He also hinted that retailers were using these cheap imports to justify low prices being paid to producers.
“Those same retailers and processors expect us to meet exacting requirements in relation to standards and to participate in quality assurance schemes and yet they will import products from other countries such as Brazil to force down our prices - and the EU Commission and national authorities are letting them away with it. This cannot continue,” he said.