‘Clear proposal’ for €100 million EU beef package tabled

The first clear proposal on the payment of the recently announced EU beef support has been put forward by the president of a farm lobby group.

The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association’s (INHFA’s) president Colm O’Donnell has forwarded what the INHFA believes is the “best method of administration”.

He explained: “A targeted flat rate payment per farm using a front loaded model with a degressive element and a capping or maximum that any individual farmer would receive is the best method of administration.”

The INHFA president also stressed that “the primary producers of our beef suckler herd must be included” as part of the €100 million package – revealed by AgriLand –  secured from the European Commission and Irish Government.

O’Donnell called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to ensure this.

Minister Creed must send the strongest signal possible to all of the Ireland’s 78,000 specialist beef farms that his Government values this industry, and will now look after all its beef farmers equally.

He highlighted that current EU regulations provide for the commission to take the necessary steps to address a market situation where there is a significant threat to commodity prices due to unforeseen or exceptional circumstances.

“There’s no doubt that the prolonged uncertainty surrounding Brexit has caused market disturbance over the last 18 months, which has affected our weanling and store trade as well as the price of finished beef.”

Concluding, the INHFA president called for “the speedy introduction of a rescue package for all 78,000 specialist beef farmers, which includes cattle rearing farms together with fattening and finishing farmer-owned farms”.