New Suckler Scheme Must Maximise Farmer Participation

IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme opened by the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue today is a vital part of the targeted supports for suckler farmers and must be built on with the funding announced in Budget ‘23 through the replacement scheme for BEEP-s.

He said the inclusion of Bord Bia Quality Assurance as an eligibility criterion is frustrating as this is a market requirement and it would be more appropriate that it’s rewarded from the market place rather than being imposed.

“Bord Bia have a huge job of work to do in facilitating suckler farmers in joining SBLAS and ensuring the scheme requirements of membership of SBLAS is provided by the 16th October,” he said.

The IFA Livestock Chairman said the targets for farmers in this scheme are ambitious and it is critical the Department of Agriculture provides maximum flexibilities to assist farmers in achieving them.

IFA had raised concerns in relation to the requirement for numbers of calves born to 4/5star bulls in 2023 on participant farms and recognised the DAFM provision of a derogation from this in the first year of the scheme.

“Minister McConalogue must confirm all who apply, and meet the eligibility requirements, are accepted into it and paid in full on all of their cows. This commitment was given to me by the Minister on his CAP tour of the marts in 2021 and must be honoured,” he said.

He said it is important every effort is made to maximise suckler farmer participation in the scheme and there can be no question as to the levels of funding to pay all farmers in full.

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