Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, today announced cabinet approval for an allocation of €50 million to provide for a support scheme for beef finishing farms which have been severely impacted by the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commenting at a post cabinet press briefing, Minister Creed said: “I am acutely aware of the ongoing market disturbance related to Covid-19 in the Irish beef sector and the significant consequences for beef farmers and for the rural economy as a whole.

“Farmers with finished animals have suffered a dual impact over recent months: reduced prices; and a reduced kill.

This support for the beef sector is an emergency response to a dramatic economic shock, to mitigate the worst Covid-19 economic impacts on these farm enterprises. Beef farming is a significant economic contributor to local rural economies, and thus is more important than ever in sustaining these communities as we work towards economic recovery.

Minister Creed noted that his department will be engaging with stakeholders in relation to the details of the scheme to be developed, which must also submitted to the EU for state aid approval under the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework.

Minister Creed stated: “This is part of my ongoing efforts to ensure that all the appropriate support measures are put in place at national and EU level for our farming communities.

“I urge all actors in the supply chain to recognise their interdependence and work collaboratively towards our shared objective – a beef sector which is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.”

Minister Creed concluded:

I have now made over €200 million in new money available specifically to beef farmers over the past two years on top of the €300 million under the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP).

Minister Creed also announced that a meeting of the Beef Taskforce is planned for the end of June, to take place by video conference in light of Covid-19 restrictions.