Mart move welcome but more needed for beef farmers – IFA

Measures announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, including permitting the marts to facilitate trade between farmers have been acknowledged by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Commenting on the move, IFA president Tim Cullinan said it is important that the marts could facilitate trade to guarantee payment, assemble calves for export and utilise their weighing facilities for cattle and sheep sales.

Cullinan said IFA has been working with the marts and the Department of Agriculture to get the essential trade in livestock moving again while complying with the Government and Health Service Executive (HSE) Covid-19 guidelines and which do not require people to assemble.

He added it is important that all eligible applicants could be funded under the Calf Investment Scheme – which received a budget boost from €1.5 million to €4 million this morning also.

However, the president said that the beef market is now in turmoil and that significant measures are required at EU and national level to support beef farmers.

“The minister and Government now have a lot more flexibility as the EU Commission has increased state aid limits.

“While there are a lot of other calls for funding, farmers cannot be forgotten – and they need help now,” Cullinan concluded.