Proposed beef support scheme to be worth €50 million

A proposed support scheme to the tune of €50 million is to be put to the cabinet today, Friday, June 12, to aid beef farms following the economic effects of Covid-19, it is understood.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed will put forward the details of the proposed support scheme to Government at a cabinet meeting today.

The scheme will be targeted at farms which have been severely impacted by the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is understood that the package will specifically target finishers.

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.

News of the proposed package was lauded as a “welcome development”, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

However, IFA president Tim Cullinan said: “The details of the scheme and the small print will be important.

“I hope that this scheme will be worthwhile and straight-forward,” he said.

The IFA had made submissions to Government showing that beef finishers had lost over €20 million as a result of the Covid-19 price impact.

“The closure of the food-service sector across Europe really hit beef finishers and they badly need help to cover these losses,” the president added.