€100 million Brexit package ‘will help boost absolutely hammered sector’ – ICSA

The €100 million fund aimed at supporting struggling beef farmers, agreed upon by the European Commission, has been described as “an important boost to a sector that has been absolutely hammered”.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association’s (ICSA’s) beef chairman Edmund Graham has welcomed the news, exclusively revealed by AgriLand, that a Brexit package for beef farmers worth €100 million had been announced.

Commenting on the announcement, Graham said: “The ICSA met the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, in Brussels in April and he committed to asking the EU budget commissioner for Brexit funds.

We also lobbied the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, repeatedly over recent months to outline the urgency of a payment to the beef farming sector.

Analysis conducted by the ICSA had shown that Brexit was costing beef farmers “up to €4 million per week” on the prime cattle kill.

“We strongly argued that these losses could not be carried,” remarked Graham.

“There will be some conditions attached to this and we await the detail.

However, it is important to acknowledge the efforts of Minister Creed and his officials and also the work of Commissioner Hogan in extracting €50 million exceptional funds from [EU Budget] Commissioner Oettinger.

Concluding, Graham noted: “The other €50 million is to be co-funded by the exchequer.”

The decision follows a recent submission from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to the commission seeking a significant, multi-million euro fund – specifically for beef farmers – in response to current market conditions.

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