It is essential that the €100 million Brexit beef package is targeted at the farmers who need it most, with no strings attached, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

The organisation has called for the money to go to farmers – with “not one cent” to go to factory feedlot cattle.

Commenting on the fund, announced last week, IFA president Joe Healy called for the money to be paid without delay.

Healy said the fund is “for farmers – not for factories, agents or dealers. We will insist it is paid quickly and directly to farmers”.

The president underlined the importance of the allocation and targeting of the €100 million fund to the farmers who need it most.

“It must take account of the farmers who incurred the beef price losses and the income situation.”

Healy pointed out the two groups who were hit the hardest, namely farmers who sold finished cattle since last September and suckler producers.

IFA National Livestock chairman Angus Woods said the IFA has already met with EU Commission officials on the details of the €100m package, which he said was essential for winter finishers, given the horrendous losses they have taken.

Woods said under no circumstances can Minister Creed allow one cent go to factory-owned cattle or factory feedlot cattle.

“Farmers who sold finished cattle through the marts must be eligible and not agents and dealers. The Department of Agriculture has all the data and information on the AIMs system,” he said.