Budget 2021: €25 million allocated to Bord Bia due to Brexit

€25 million in current expenditure has been allocated to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Budget 2021 to support additional staffing requirements and additional funding for Bord Bia in respect of Brexit.

Meanwhile, an additional €4 million has been allocated to the department in capital expenditure to provide for necessary Brexit infrastructure in 2021.

All-in-all, the department’s total gross voted expenditure will be €1.826 billion (current and capital expenditure combined) which includes €88 million in Covid-19-releted expenditure and €29 million in Brexit-related expenditure.

The funding is divided into four programmes: The first three are more pertinent to farmers and the agri-food sector, while Programme D refers to the seafood sector.

Programme A

The funding under this programme supports a range of regulatory and other activities.

These include inspection services for standards of food safety and animal health and welfare, which will entail conducting some 2,800 on-farm and animal transport controls and inspections, according to government documents.

This programme also includes support for food traceability systems; research, testing and eradication activities for plant protection and animal diseases; and animal welfare.

Programme B

This is the programme that covers farm/sector supports and controls and, under Budget 2021, will have a focus on sustainability.

As part of this, there will be a 33% increase in funding for the Organic Farming Scheme, to allow it to be reopened for new entrants.

Support will also be provided to the continuation of schemes including the Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS); the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme; the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP); the Sheep Welfare Scheme; and measures in the beef sector.

The programme will also support the introduction of new environmental measures to support environmental actions; and will provide funding for the Forestry Programme through new afforestation establishment grants, forestry premia and forestry development supports.

Programme C

This programme deals with the department’s policy and strategy.

Government documents say the allocation for 2021 “will allow the department and its agencies to develop and implement policies as set out in Food Wise 2025 and strengthen the sector to meet the challenges of Brexit”.

As part of this, support will be directed towards: research and innovation; support for Bord Bia in promoting and developing a premium position for Irish food and beverage products in markets nationally and internationally; and grant aid for capital investment by food companies to help them diversify products and markets.