€46.6 million in Beef Finisher Payments begin issuing

Payments of €46.6 million have commenced issuing to 27,200 farmers under the 2020 Beef Finisher Payment (BFP), Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has announced.

In his announcement, the minister said: “This support provides a valuable income support and helps mitigate the economic impact for those farmers who finished cattle when prices were under particular pressure as a result of Covid-19 earlier this year.

“Beef farming is an important economic activity, with a significant multiplier effect in local rural communities, and thus is more important than ever in sustaining these communities as we work towards economic recovery.

We have seen the benefits of the BFP as it delivers direct financial supports to our country’s finishers who were adversely affected by Covid-19.

“I also believe the BFP has helped provide a floor to the mart trade this autumn. The scheme has assisted beef finishers in purchasing weanlings and store animals which has, in turn, supported our suckler farmers.”

The payment rate under the BFP is €100 per eligible animal.

The BFP is the latest supportive measure for the beef and suckler sectors carried out by the Department of Agriculture in recent times, the minister added.

As well as the BFP issuing today, €6 million in funding has been secured for the marketing and branding of suckler-based brand while a further €85 million has been secured as part of Budget 2021 to support sustainable beef farming – these measures include €40 million for the rollover of the Beef Data Genomics Programme (BDGP), a further €40 million for the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) and €5 million for the calf weighing scheme.

These come on top of the €76 million Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme which issued in 2019 and the first BDGP scheme which concluded recently.

Concluding, Minister McConalogue said: “It is the belief of this government that we need a well-supported beef sector because of the many benefits the sector has on our society and our economy.

“My department and I stand ready to continue to support our beef and suckler farmers into the future.”