Beef support package a ‘badly needed confidence boost’

The €100 million aid package for the Irish beef sector has been welcomed by the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), which calls for the immediate finalisation of details.

ICMSA president Pat McCormack lauded the announcement by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan of the package for the beef sector which has endured a very difficult period since mid-2018.

He highlighted that it is essential that the details of this package are finalised immediately and payments made to farmers to provide a badly needed confidence boost for the sector.

McCormack said that the ICMSA had met with Commissioner Hogan in early April to seek such a package and felt confident, at that stage, that the package would be forthcoming and today’s announcement is very definitely welcome.

“We had made it clear to Commissioner Hogan at that meeting that Brexit losses were being felt by farmers right along the beef supply chain from finished cattle, stores, weanlings and calves,” the president said.

“We still think it’s crucial that the support package recognises all farmers producing beef and addresses fairly the losses suffered by all those farmers,” McCormack concluded.

Beef support package

As revealed by AgriLand last night, a fund of €100 million aimed at supporting struggling beef farmers has been agreed upon by the European Commission.

It is understood that the commission has agreed to a fund of €50 million, while the Irish Government is also expected to match this figure – bringing the total amount to €100 million.

The decision follows a recent submission from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to the commission seeking a significant, multi-million euro fund – specifically for beef farmers – in response to current market conditions.