THE Irish Farmers’ Association is holding regional information meetings nationwide this month for livestock farmers on the €100m Brexit beef fund recently secured from Brussels and the Government, including one next Wednesday, June 12th, in The Riverside Park Hotel, Macroom, commencing at 8.30pm.
As well as updating farmers on the €100m fund, the organisation wants to hear farmers’ views on its distribution.
IFA president Joe Healy said a recent meeting of the IFA National Council in Dublin has endorsed the National Livestock Committee policy direction that the €100m Brexit Beef Fund should be targeted at beef finishers of prime cattle (steers, heifers and young bulls) and suckler cow farmers.
He said: ‘It is essential that the €100m Brexit beef package is targeted to the farmers who need it most. It must be paid without delay and there must be no strings attached.
‘This fund was secured after a lot of hard work and lobbying by IFA. It’s for farmers – not for factories, agents or dealers. We will insist it is paid quickly and directly to farmers.’
Joe Healy said the allocation and targeting of the €100m to the farmers who need it most is critically important. ‘It must take account of the farmers who incurred the beef price losses and the income situation.’
IFA National Livestock chairman Angus Woods said it is very clear that the farmers who sold prime finished cattle since last September and suckler producers are the two groups who were hit the hardest.
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.
Angus Woods said that, 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.