IFA President Tim Cullinan has welcomed the announcement by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Agriculture Minister Michael Creed of a €50m direct payment package for beef farmers to cover price losses incurred as a result of the collapse in the market due to COVID-19 and other factors, including Brexit.
Tim Cullinan said, “The details of the scheme and the small print will be very important. IFA is set to meet with the Department of Agriculture next Monday to progress the scheme details further”.
“IFA made detailed submissions to Government outlining the strong case for a direct payment support package and our officers around the country have worked hard lobbying politicians,” he said.
“This new package, along with the recent €35m BEEP-S scheme secured for suckler cows is badly needed.”
IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden also welcomed the beef package, saying finishers had taken a severe financial hit this spring. He said the COVID-19 crisis has impacted significantly on markets, especially the food service sector, which was closed down.
“As a major beef exporter, Ireland was hit much harder than many other countries.”
He said the figures show winter finishers selling cattle have taken a beef price battering in the order of €200 per head, when compared to pre-Brexit and pre-COVID-19 prices.
Brendan Golden said IFA campaigned hard on this all spring and it was good to see a positive outcome.
“Without a direct payment package to make up, in some part, for these price losses, many winter finishers will not survive after this spring, which has been financially horrendous,” he said.