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During the 6th round of negotiations on the new EU/US trade deal (TTIP) held last month, ICOS made a direct presentation to the negotiating teams on the dangers and opportunities of such a deal to the Irish Co-operative Agri industry.

We were the only national delegation selected for such an opportunity.

On the dairy side we focused on how currently the US makes it very difficult for high quality Irish butter and cheddar to access the US market. Currently only 57% of US dairy import quotas are even used because of US restrictions.

Often Irish dairy product also finds itself behind a tariff wall of up to $1,200 per m/t on future growth in exports to the US.

This is especially of concern to Irish co-operative dairy industry, because our Kerry Kerrygold brand has been established as the number one imported butter on the US market, and the IDB team have also been making huge strides with their cheddar brands.

ICOS also used the opportunity to voice strong concerns on the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) scheme undermining Irish product on other markets and the currently increasing American Dairy Import Licence Fee.

We also pointed out the dangers to our beef industry, if Irish and European standards were sold out to achieve such as deal, with a seismic knock on for both our suckler and dairy beef herds.

The 7th round of negotiations is pencilled in for October.

Please see attached short Power Point with key points.

ICOS Presentation