How are farm organisations reacting to the €50 million Beef Finishers Payment?

The details of the €50 million Beef Finishers Payment were revealed yesterday evening, Wednesday, August 5, which will see payments of around €100 per animal made to farmers.

The payments are subject to a limit of 100 animals per herd, and is based on a reference period of February 1 to June 12 this year. Some 42,000 farmer will be eligible to apply.

The ringfencing of the €50 million fund was initially announced by former minister for agriculture Michael Creed in the last days of the previous government.

Now that the details of a scheme to get that funding to farmers have been announced, what is the initial reaction from farm organisations?

IFA

Tim Cullinan, president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has welcomed the announcement of the details from the current Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary.

However, he highlighted: “It is crucial that the money gets out to farmers as soon as possible and that the full €50 million is spent. There should be a provision to increase the payment per animal if there is any underspend.”

Also Read: Details of €50 million Beef Finishers Payment revealed

Meanwhile, IFA National Livestock chairperson Brendan Golden encouraged farmers to apply once the scheme opens in two weeks’ time on August 19.

“The scheme will apply to farmers who had cattle slaughtered between February 1 and June 12. It is expected the payment will be in the region of €100 per head. This will be a significant boost for the Autumn cattle trade,” Golden highlighted.

ICSA

Edmund Graham, beef chairperson of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association, has given a “guarded welcome” to the announcement.

“We are pleased that the scheme has delivered key asks from the ICSA. A provision is included which should have the effect of delivering money to farmers who sold animals in the mart and which were subsequently slaughtered within 30 days,” Graham noted.

We also are pleased that there is no ‘destocking clause’… Factory owned animals are not eligible, again a key demand.

However, Graham stressed: “[We] are not happy that live exported cattle do not seem to be mentioned and we will be seeking urgent clarification on this.

“Overall, the inclusion of finished animals over eight months of age – which includes suckler cows – is in line with what we lobbied for and we welcome the announcement. It is clear that winter finishers have needed a break after several disastrous years, and this will help the suckler farmer indirectly when it comes to having more buyers around the ring for autumn sales,” the ICSA beef chairperson concluded.