At IFA’s first regional information meeting in Claremorris for livestock farmers on the €100m beef fund, there was backing for the six key principles that the IFA Livestock Committee and National Council set out for the distribution of the fund.
Over 350 farmers attended last night’s meeting and there was very strong support from the floor for some of the fund to go to suckler farmers. IFA President Joe Healy said that “During a robust debate, it was clear that finishers of prime cattle and sucklers should be the priority,” he said.
“We understand that the EU Commission will circulate a draft regulation to Member States on Thursday. This will outline parameters around the distribution of the funds,” he said.
He said the clear message from Claremorris was that the €100m Brexit beef package has to be targeted to the farmers who need it most. It must take account of the farmers who incurred the beef price losses and the income situation.
The six principles are as follows:
- For beef farmers and must be paid to beef farmers. Not for factories, factory feedlots or factory-owned cattle, agents or dealers.
- Targeted to the farmers who incurred the losses and the sectors who need it most in terms of income.
- Farmers who sold prime finished cattle – steers, heifers, young bulls since last Autumn, and suckler farmers.
- Paid out quickly and directly to farmers.
- Finished cattle sold in the marts must be included.
- DAFM has all the data on the AIMs system to enable accurate targeting of the funds.
IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said the farmers who sold prime finished cattle since last September and suckler producers are the two groups which were hit the hardest. The next meeting will take place in Kilkenny tonight (Wed)