BEAM MUST BE DIRECTED AT THOSE WHOSE PRIMARY ENTREPRISE IS DEPENDENT ON THE BEEF TRADE

17 JULY 2019

ICSA president Edmond Phelan has said the €100m fund available through the Beef Exceptional Aid Measures (BEAM) must be directed solely at the lowest farm income sectors. Mr Phelan said, “This fund must be for those whose primary farm enterprise is dependent on the state of the beef trade and who have suffered the greatest hardship from Brexit related price pressures. The expectation from the outset was that finishers and suckler farmers would be the beneficiaries.”

“Farm income figures for 2018 show that suckler farmers and beef finishers are on their knees. Average family farm income on suckler farms dipped to an estimated €8,318 in 2018 – a reduction of 22% on 2017, with beef finishers earning approximately €14,408, down 11% on the 2017. This is where the money must be directed. It is unconscionable to think that money would be diverted from these farmers to dairy farmers who despite having a relatively bad year themselves, still managed earnings of €61,273 in 2018. It defies logic for anyone to lobby for their inclusion in this particular exceptional aid measure.”

“The difference in annual incomes is clear for all to see and points directly at where the funds should go. There was a dairy rescue package a few years ago and there was no question of some of that money going to beef finishers or suckler farmers.”

“ICSA has many full-time finishers who feel very frustrated that the scheme is limited to 100 animals. These farmers who are fully dependent on their beef farming enterprise have seen losses of over €100/head on hundreds of animals.  Some of these farmers have lost in excess of €30,000 on this year’s trading and the limit of €10,000 will not go anywhere near meeting their losses. ICSA wants the limit increased to 200 animals which would be of massive benefit to full-time beef farmers and will benefit other farmers by keeping these farmers in business at the mart ringsides.”

ENDS