FARMIRELAND.IE – 6 JANUARY 2017
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) has said that beef farmers should be paid to reduce output due to high supplies and poor farmgate prices currently.
“We need to learn from the strategy applied at EU level to deal with the dairy crisis in 2016 where the strategy was a rational move to reduce production to deal with the supply/demand imbalance.”
ICSA proposes that this incentive should be available on an EU-wide basis at a rate of €200 per cow per annum for up to five years on a voluntary basis.
The scheme would be based on a reference year of 2016 and the payment would be linked to the reduction in calves registered compared to 2016.
‘Farmers sick and tired of losing money’
“ICSA believes that farmers are sick and tired of losing money to produce beef when there is so much uncertainty around viable markets.
“This strategy would expose the hypocrisy of Food Wise 2025 expansion targets by sending out a clear signal that anything less than €200 per cow net profit is unacceptable. It would expose the deadly consensus that farmers should be satisfied with just breaking even.
“As we face into 2017 we see 200,000 more cattle for slaughter than in 2015 and continued uncertainty about live exports particularly to traditionally important markets like Italy.
“It is abundantly clear that the only way to deliver farm viability is scarcity.
“Farm organisations have to take a responsible attitude on basic economic principles that will address the profitability question above all other considerations,” Kelleher said.