Just 20t of Irish beef placed in private storage to date

The European Commission’s Aids to Private Storage (APS) scheme, introduced back in April, allocated some €45 million for the private storage of beef and lamb across the EU.

However, to date, with the application period set to end on Tuesday, June 30, just 1,520t of beef has been placed into €25 million beef private storage across the 27 EU member states and the UK.

This figure is even lower for the €20 million scheme for sheepmeat and goat meat, with just 140t of product offered for private storage in total – from one member state, Spain.

Regarding the beef allocation, Irish processors have placed just 20t of product into storage – 1.32% of the EU total.

Of the nine member states that did place beef into storage, Poland accounted for by far the highest amount – 442t – which was almost double what the country with the second highest allocation – the Netherlands – used, which was some 260t. France rounded off the ‘top three’ with an allocation of 240t.

Back in April, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) previously warned that the €25 million Aids to Private Storage (APS) scheme for beef would have “a negligible impact” in dealing with the market effects of Covid-19.

“The level of aid announced goes nowhere near what is required to cover the costs associated with freezing, storage, financing and also the collapsed market value of the cuts,” the processor representative body said in a statement.

MII director Cormac Healy also warned at the time that APS was not a market support “that has been used for many, many years in the meat sector – in the dairy sector it has been used more”.

The challenge for us is that you’re storing and freezing down steak cuts that are going to lose a lot of value by that freezing down [process].

“And the level of aid that they are talking about falls well short of the kind of market impact that has taken place,” the MII director said at the time.