18 JULY 2016
ICSA president Patrick Kent has questioned the granting of a further rescue package for dairy farmers while beef farmers continue to seek fair play for their own sector. Speaking following the announcement, Mr Kent said “We are simply looking for equal treatment for the beef sector, however yet again we are seeing aid flooding to the dairy sector while the beef sector is cast adrift. How is it that Brussels can repeatedly come up with money for dairy farmers and find nothing for beef farmers? This is particularly galling for beef farmers in the light of the impact that Brexit is already having. In addition, the recent events in Turkey have added an extra level of risk and uncertainty to the live export market that we have only recently welcomed.”
The EU wide package of €500m will see Irish dairy farmers benefit to the tune of €11.1 together with further supports as part of a voluntary reduction in milk production.
Continuing, Mr Kent said, “We had an EU rescue package in 2015 for dairy farmers which was matched by a Government top-up of €14m. At the time ICSA was concerned that such a move would set a precedent whereby dairy farmers would continue to seek and receive additional support. This prospect has now come to pass while beef farmers continue to grapple with low incomes and uncertain markets.”