It has been affirmed by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, that factories will not benefit from the EU beef support package.

Speaking on Shannonside Northern Sound today, Thursday, May 23, the minister was asked if he had any comment to make on concerns that factories may benefit from this compensation scheme. He replied: “They won’t. Full stop.”

He noted that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed that the Government “will provide 100% matching funding – so the fund will amount to €100 million”.

We are awaiting from the commission the exact terms and conditions under which them funds will be made available.

Minister Creed continued: “We will then go into consultation with the industry to make sure that we deliver the payments in the most effective way to those that have been most affected and, in particular, just to farmers.

“The people who have taken the losses here are the farmers.”

The minister then went on to point out that the Government “can make it happen that it will be just the farmers who will benefit from this”.

I can assure you that the €100 million will be for farmers not for factories.

Concluding, Minister Creed outlined the timeline for the rollout of the funding: “Once we get the terms and conditions from Europe, I plan to engage with the farm organisations around how we design a scheme on the terms and conditions.

“We will invite applications and our ambition would be to pay as early as possible.”