Minister set to unveil Covid-19 beef support package

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed is set to bring details to Cabinet of a support scheme for beef farms today, Friday, June 12.

The scheme will be targeted at farms which have been severely impacted by the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The package is expected to be fully funded by the Exchequer and will be subject to approval by the EU under state aid rules.

The Covid-19 pandemic was a hammer blow for the beef sector, with prices falling sharply in recent months, primarily down to an effective collapse of the food-service industry across most countries.

Previous scheme

This follows on from a beef support scheme last year in the form of the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM), which was introduced in light of the difficult circumstances that Irish beef farmers faced as a result of market volatility and uncertainty arising out of Brexit.

Under the scheme, aid was paid on adult cattle slaughtered between September 24, 2018, and May 12, 2019, at a rate of €100/animal subject to a maximum of 100 finished animals per herd.

Aid was paid on suckler cows that calved in 2018, at a rate of €40/animal subject to a maximum of 40 sucklers per herd. Applications made under the BEAM scheme equated to a pay-out of some €78,192,000.