Speaking after meeting the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine on the Brexit beef fund, ICMSA has repeated its contention that the €100 million Beef Brexit Fund must be distributed to all farmers who incurred losses in beef production and ICMSA President, Mr. Pat McCormack rejected “absolutely” the Department proposal to completely exclude dairy farmers from the scheme. Many dairy farmers have operated a beef enterprise for decades and have suffered severe losses over the last 12 months due to Brexit. ICMSA at the meeting called for the inclusion of dairy farmers in the scheme and while the Minister undertook to re-consider the Department position, it is absolute essential that this proposal is rejected and removed from the scheme.
The President, Pat McCormack, said that any farmer who suffered a Brexit-related loss on beef production is entitled to compensation from this fund whether dairy, beef, full time or part time. That was the intention of the fund and that, in a sense, is ‘what it says on the tin’. ICMSA will not accept a situation where an unverified and unverifiable hierarchy is put forward that says Group A suffered more than Group B and is therefore more deserving of all the compensation. That was not the basis the fund was sought on and it’s not the basis on which it should be distributed. This fund is not anyone’s property and it’s absolutely crucial that, at this stage, when the losses from Brexit uncertainty are still ongoing and actually increasing, that the Department is both fair and seen to be fair about distributing the compensation which, I remind everyone again, is for all farmers- and that must include dairy farmers – producing beef who can show Brexit-related losses”.
The Department proposal is hugely unfair on family dairy farmers and Mr. McCormack concluded by calling on the Minister to remove this condition from the compensation scheme immediately.
Ends 11 July 2019
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
ICMSA Head Office 061-314677