26 SEPTEMBER 2019
ICSA beef chair Edmund Graham has said plans must be put in place to ensure the full €100m under the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme goes to deserving farmers. “ICSA is insisting that any unused funds should be directed to increase the compensation per eligible animal,” he said.
“BEAM was never going to be a perfect solution for those who made horrendous losses since the autumn of 2018. However, we have an opportunity now to make the necessary tweaks to the scheme in order to get this money where it needs to go, and this needs to be done without delay.”
A total of 34,517 applications for compensation were received under the BEAM scheme, the closing date for which was Friday 20 September. Current estimates indicate that close to €22m will remain unclaimed if changes to the scheme are not made.
“It is imperative we see the entirety of these funds going to those whose primary farm enterprise is dependent on the state of the beef trade, who suffered the greatest hardship, and for whom this fund was rightly sought.”
ICSA is also calling on the Department of Agriculture to recognise the eligibility of farmers who exported finished cattle to Northern Ireland. “It is important that these farmers have access to BEAM also,” Mr Graham said.