28 APRIL 2021
ICSA beef chair Edmund Graham has called on Minister McConalogue to renew the Beef Finisher Payment for 2021. “Further financial aid for beef finishers is essential to ensure as many farmers as possible can emerge from this prolonged Covid crisis. While prices have picked up in recent weeks, these increases in no way make up for the months of savage price cuts beef farmers had to endure in advance of that,” he said.
“Farmers have also had to contend with massive increases in the costs of inputs. It all adds up to beef finishers moving further and further away from achieving anywhere near the actual cost of production. The writing is now on the wall; beef finishers need further financial support for losses incurred on cattle sold from last November to at least the end of April 2021.”
Mr Graham said the Beef Finisher Payment worked well last year and the scheme could be replicated with relative ease this year. “The scheme did what it was supposed to do, and bureaucracy was kept to a minimum. Crucially, there was no destocking clause and factory owned animals were not eligible. The scheme helped the winter finishers who needed it most and also provided an indirect boost to suckler farmers when it came to the autumn sales. It is clear the same support must be provided for this year.”
“The EU’s Covid recovery fund is there to facilitate such a scheme, but we need to see action from our department officials on accessing these funds and delivering these supports to the farmers who need them most.”