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Technical discussions on the EU/Canadian (CETA) deal have reached an end point and arrangements for a final signing in Ottawa are being made.

ICOS has closely followed and lobbied on these discussions and warmly welcome the inclusion of a quota for 18,500 tonnes of cheese per year. We are especially delighted our efforts to ensure the bulk of this was not blocked off for geographically indicated cheeses from the Continent was listened to and that high quality Irish cheese, will have access to the market.

We also welcome the Canadian concession to eliminate tariffs completely for milk protein concentrate.

On beef, the picture is not as bright with the EU conceding ground on beef quotas, with an extra 31,000 tonnes of Canadian beef being allowed on the European market. It is key that we continue to market our beef at a premium to this product on EU markets, and drive to continue to find new markets to soften the blow of this extra supply, to a key sector that is already in difficulty.

We do welcome though the fact that Canadian beef that does come in will have to be hormone free and adhere to EU standards.