Beef Plan: ‘Who benefited from losses endured by farmers?’

The Beef Plan Movement has said “it must be clearly established and reported by an authority” who has benefited from the losses endured by suckler and beef farmers in Ireland.

West region chairperson of the movement, Eoin Donnelly, described the €100 million support for the beef sector, exclusively revealed by AgriLand on Wednesday night, as “a welcome ‘band aid'”.

He said: “The Beef Plan Movement acknowledges that the EU and the Irish Government have recognised that Irish beef farmers have endured significant financial losses for a sustained period of time.

“Beef has continued to be exported from Ireland throughout this beef crisis at volumes comparable to previous years.

If one link in the supply chain is paid less, then someone else in the supply chain benefits.

Donnelly asked: “How has this money been divided between the processors, retailers and consumers? This money hasn’t simply disappeared – someone took it.”

Focusing on when and how this fund is going to be distributed, Donnelly said: “The Beef Plan wants the Government to act without delay and to be “open and transparent” when sharing the proposal that they made.

We hope the Government will consider suckler farmers that sold weanlings during this period, so that they can also be compensated through this fund.

“This money cannot simply be allocated to farmers that sold cattle to processors, as suckler farmers also lost considerable amounts of money.”

Donnelly stressed that Beef Plan participation in this process “is a must so that its members are represented”.

Support for family farms needs to be prioritised and we are asking that this be considered if not already done so by the Government.

Concluding, Donnelly said: “The Beef Plan will be watching where this money goes to ensure that the suckler and beef farmers are not exploited twice.”