Speaking yesterday after the Budget, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, revealed a Brexit Resilience Package of €78 million for the Agri-Food sector for 2019.
According to the Minister, this new package includes “a range of measures to support farmers and industry, against the background of the challenges that lie ahead”.
The measures announced by the Minister include €44m of direct aid for farmers, comprising of an additional €23 million for farmers in Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC), bringing the allocation for 2019 to €250 million, a 24% increase on the level prior to the economic downturn.
It also includes the introduction of a €20 million Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot scheme (BEEP), a new pilot scheme targeted at Suckler farmers, and aimed at further improving the economic and carbon efficiency of Irish beef production.
The Minister has also provided capital €27 million in Brexit related supports for the food industry including €13 million in support for industry competitiveness and innovation, and €3 million for Artisan and Micro food and beverage programmes through the Leader Programme and for LEAN manufacturing initiatives.
Creed also announced that he provided €7m for staff and IT costs arising from additional import control and export certification requirements arising as a result of Brexit.
“I believe that the package of measures announced today will support the agri-food sector and assist us focussing on competitiveness, innovation, new market development and environmental sustainability – all key themes of the Food Wise strategy, and the best response we can make to the uncertainty and challenge posed by Brexit,” the Minister concluded.
The recent Budget has been called into question by some farmer representative groups, with the IFA claiming that, while some there was some acknowledgment of the crisis facing Irish farmers, the upcoming major issues of Brexit and CAP will require much more Government commitment and support for farming.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.