HSE advice to be sought on BPS clinics

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has said that advisory clinics to assist farmers in applying for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will be subject to advice from the Health Service Executive (HSE) on whether or not they go ahead.

A spokesperson for the department confirmed to AgriLand that, as part of the Government response to the escalating situation, the clinics will only go ahead if the advice and guidelines from the Department of Health permits.

However, the spokesperson stressed that BPS phone lines (which can be found here) will remain open in any event.

Beef Market Taskforce

In other department and coronavirus related news, it was confirmed by the department yesterday, Monday, March 16, that a meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce that was scheduled to take place later this month, will now be rescheduled.

A spokesperson for the department confirmed to AgriLand that a meeting of the taskforce had been planned for an as yet unannounced date later this month.

However, the spokesperson said: “Given the current advice in relation to Covid-19, the beef taskforce meeting which was planned to take place at the end of this month will be rescheduled for a later date.”

The last meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce took place on January 9, which saw farm organisations, processor representatives and retailers in attendance.

During that meeting, rules and requirements under the Quality Payments Scheme (QPS) came in for treatment, with the general feeling among farm organisation representatives that attended Agriculture House that evening being that retailers did not view these requirements as absolutely set in stone.