|Rooster 10 kg||€4.00||€5||€4.50|
Retail and food service sectors trade remain buoyant. Colder weather forecast for the next week should drive home consumption. Oneyear on from the invasion of Ukraine, there is still huge concern around the outlook and the cost of input materials and energy costs. It was announced this week that the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme will be extended, to 31 May 2023, and enhanced, including by reducing the threshold for qualification from a 50% increase in electricity or gas costs to 30% increase (to apply retrospectively from 1 September last year), and by increasing from 1 March the level of relief from 40% to 50% of eligible costs.
In the U.K. it is reported that growers appear to be more confident and some increased prices have been paid this week for very best quality. Across Europe, prices in the fresh market are stable and good export movement to the Mediterranean continues with renewed interest for reds from Portugal. Trade to Eastern Europe is still being restricted by high pricing and transport costs.
Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS)
Under the Cost of Living Package announced last month the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme will be extended, to 31 May 2023, and enhanced, including by reducing the threshold for qualification from a 50% increase in electricity or gas costs to 30% increase (to apply retrospectively from 1 September last year), and by increasing from 1 March the level of relief from 40% to 50% of eligible costs, subject to a monthly limit, which will also be increased from March, to €15,000 per month per trade or profession, subject to an overall cap of €45,000 where the business is carried on from more than one location. These changes are subject to state aid approval from the European Commission. The cost of the extended scheme will be met from the allocation provided in Budget 2023.
Activity since last Council
- IFA attended a Copa working party meeting in Brussels on January 23rd. The main agenda items included the Sustainable Use Regulation and input costs.
- IFA completed a detailed submission on the Sustainable Use of Pesticide Regulation which will replace the existing Sustainable Use Directive (SUD).
- Horticulture Grant Scheme – it was announced that the Horticulture budget will increase to €10 million. The scheme is yet to open – the Scheme falls under State Aid in accordance with EU Guidelines for State Aid in the Agricultural and Forestry Sector and in Rural Areas. As the previous Guidelines expired on 31/12/2022, this has resulted in a delay to the opening of the 2023 Horticulture Grant Scheme, as it had to be notified under the new EU Guidelines for State Aid.
- IFA completed a submission on the Control of Wild Birds Deceleration and the impact lack of control would have on agricultural subsectors, including potatoes and horticulture.
- A potato development group meeting took place on February 21st in Teagasc Oakpark. Stakeholders discussed upcoming projects for 2023.
- IFA continues a campaign to highlight the impact of spiralling input costs on potato growers.
- The EU Potato Promotion activation for 2022 is under way. This is the final year of the successful campaign targeting millennial consumption. Growers are reminded to contribute to this very worthwhile campaign, which is 80% funded from the EU.
- IFA attended a potato promotion meeting on February 23rd in Bord Bia HQ with all industry stakeholders to discuss planned activities for 2023.
- IFA continues to engage with all retailers and packers to convey growers increased input costs and issues around excessive tare levels.
- The Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme (TAMS 3) opened this week. TAMS 3 will run for five years and will include 10 schemes. Applications for the Solar Capital Investment Scheme are available first, with the remaining schemes opening on a phased basis in the coming months. Tranche 1 of the scheme is expected to close on Friday, 16th June 2023. See full list of investment items and reference costs here.
- IFA continues to engage with retailers on spiralling input costs and setting up meetings with retailer buyers and packers at this critical period.
- IFA will continue to demand that packers and retailers pay sustainable potato farm gate prices.
- The 2022 European Potato Promotion has performed very well. Growers have received a letter to support this initiative and the potato committee are continuing to encourage growers to support the campaign.
- IFA will continue to contact growers to ensure they are aware of the costs of production and engage in stocks/acreage surveys.
- IFA will meet the Ulster Farmers Union on Horticulture, Tillage and Potatoes on March 1st in Dundalk.