Department did not have reduction measures in beef submission – Creed

Reporting from Tokyo, Japan

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine did not include production reduction measures in its submission to the European Commission for emergency Brexit funding for the beef sector, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed has confirmed.

Speaking to AgriLand at the Flavours of Ireland reception in Tokyo, the minister said that no such measures were sought in the submission.

“I can confirm, we didn’t [ask for measures]. Absolutely not,” the minister said.

We made a submission in terms of a market analysis on the problems. We didn’t seek any supply reduction measures, obviously.

The production reduction measures were included by the European Commission in its regulations on how it wants the €100 million beef fund to be rolled out to Irish beef farmers.

The document outlines that European aid of a total amount of €50 million shall be available to Ireland to provide “exceptional adjustment aid to farmers in the beef and veal sector”, with the Irish Government needing to come up with the remaining €50 million.

According to the commission, to avail of the package, Ireland must take up measures that are aimed at reducing production or restructuring the beef and veal sector and one or more of the following objectives:
  • Implementation of quality schemes in the beef and veal sector, or projects aimed at promoting quality and value added;
  • Boosting market diversification;
  • Protecting and improving the farmers’ environmental, climate and economic sustainability.

In addition, the document – seen by AgriLand – said: “Ireland shall ensure that if farmers in the beef and veal sector are not the direct beneficiaries of the payments; the economic benefit of the union aid is passed to them in full.

“Ireland’s expenditure in relation to the payments for the measures referred to shall only be eligible for union aid if those payments have been made by May 31, 2020, at the latest,” the document said.