Speaking ahead of the Irish Farmers Journal Beef Summit in Galway this evening, IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to come clean and tell beef farmers how much he is seeking from Government and the EU to compensate beef farmers for the Brexit beef price cuts they have incurred since last autumn.
Angus Woods said it is now over a week since IFA protested outside the Cabinet meeting in Cork and confronted the Taoiseach and Government Ministers demanding a €100m direct payment aid package for beef farmers.
“In Cork, the Taoiseach told IFA the Government has put forward a support package for Brexit beef losses. Minister Creed needs to tell farmers the details of what he is seeking from Government and the EU Commission and outline the time lines involved and when farmers can expect to get paid.”
The IFA National Livestock Chairman said beef farmers have been savaged financially by Brexit beef price cuts. “Beef farmers have major bills to pay to the feed merchants, banks and others. Incomes have been destroyed. These losses are real and have been acknowledged and accepted by the Department of Agriculture and the EU Commission who have analysed the data.”
On support for the suckler sector, Angus Woods said IFA is very strong on the need for targeted support of €200 per cow. He said it is clear the suckler herd is under immense pressure, both in terms of numbers and income at farm level.
“Minister Creed has ducked and dived in his failure to adequately support sucklers and he can no longer hide. He needs to made it clear that this Government is supportive of sucklers and our €3bn beef and livestock sector, and that they are not going to turn their backs on livestock farmers and rural Ireland.”