Given the increasing threat of a no-deal Brexit, the Irish Farmers’ Association has warned that substantially more EU and Government funding and supports will be needed for the Irish beef sector.
Responding to the details announced by Minister Creed regarding the distribution of the €100 million fund, IFA president Joe Healy said that farmers urgently need more support and a clear roadmap from Brussels and Dublin as to how they will support the agricultural sector, should a no-deal Brexit come to pass.
Healy noted that the Minister’s plan covers losses from 24th September 2018 to May 10th 2019. While this is important, Healy said, unfortunately, prices have deteriorated much further since May.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there may be further issues in terms of a shortfall in 2020, he said.
Healy added that the Irish beef market, which he said is now in crisis, is in need of the €1 billion EU fund immediately to stabilise the market.
He also suggested that it needs protection from the Mercosur agreement, suggesting to ban the importation of 270,000t of beef imports from South America, which ‘has consistently failed to meet European standards’.
The IFA President was joined in his calls by college and Livestock Chairman, Angus Woods, who said that he wants a commitment from the Minister that, if money is underspent, he will re-look at some of the limits and restrictions, or increase the payment rate.
It would be a travesty if some this funding went unspent due to restrictions put in place by the Minister,” he said.
Woods suggested that the Minister could have paid this funding on all prime cattle (young bulls, steers and heifers) as set out in the IFA’s six principles, which would have “ensured the fund was fully spent”.
“We would be concerned that the way the scheme is now structured will result in the fund being underspent.”
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.