The minimum environmental conditions for the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) have to be met, according to outgoing European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan.

In a statement today, Friday, September 13, the commissioner highlighted the significance of the scheme as the first of its kind to target a specific member state.

He said: “During my mandate as EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development I have overseen exceptional support to European farmers of over €1.5 billion.

Acknowledging the particular challenges facing Irish beef farmers, the EU has provided €50 million to support those farmers – the first time that such a support scheme has been targeted at farmers in one member state.

Continuing, Hogan – recently confirmed as the new commissioner for trade – said: “This funding is a clear demonstration of EU solidarity with a particular group of farmers facing very challenging circumstances which are far beyond their control.

“I welcome the matching funding provided by the Irish Government, which increases the total funding available to €100 million. Conditions are a standard requirement of any such support,” he said.

“The specific terms and eligibility criteria of the [BEAM] scheme were drawn up by the Department of Agriculture to meet the required conditionality.

“The reduction in bovine organic nitrogen (N) is part of this criteria. We know that farmers want to play their part in the fight against climate change and a reduction in ammonia emissions is one practical demonstration of their commitment.

These minimum environmental conditions for the BEAM must be met by eligible farmers.

“I welcome the extension of the closing date for applications already announced by Minister Creed and I would encourage eligible farmers to apply for the scheme,”  the commissioner concluded.