€100 million beef fund set to include ‘production reduction’ clause

The highly anticipated €100 million beef fund is expected to include ‘production reduction’ and ‘restructuring’ clauses, AgriLand has learned.

The fund – revealed by AgriLand – which was initially announced as a support for Irish beef farmers that have suffered significant losses due to recent market disturbances – is now expected to be linked to specific conditions which have been outlined in Brussels this evening, Thursday, June 6.

According to a draft EU document on the regulation for the fund seen by this publication: “The measures taken by Ireland shall be aimed at reducing production or restructuring the beef and veal sector.”

Meanwhile, a Government source explained: “The €50 million from Europe is expected to have an element of reduction built into it, incentivising farmers to reduce suckler cow numbers.”

Last month, the European Commission announced that it will offer a €50 million support for beef farmers, while the Irish Government confirmed it will match this figure, bringing the total amount to €100 million.

The source outlined that a mechanism such as this has been used by the EU before when the dairy reduction scheme was rolled out by the EU in 2016.

The scheme – titled ‘Voluntary Supply Management Scheme for the Dairy Sector’ – aimed to fund milk producers who voluntarily engaged in milk production reduction over a three-month period.

According to the Government source: “For a suckler farmer to avail of the funding, they are going to have to give a commitment to reduce a percentage of their stock.”

While it is understood that the figures have not yet been confirmed; reduction is “definitely” a condition of the money.

Funding update

While the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has confirmed that the commission’s funding will be matched, the Government has yet to come up with the other €50 million which is proving to be challenging at the minute.

“The Department of Agriculture is going to have to come up with the vast majority of it,” according to the source.”