1 MAY 2019
ICSA beef chair Edmund Graham has said speculation that the Departure of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has moved on an EU Brexit support package for beef farmers offers a glimmer of hope to the struggling sector. “In recent weeks ICSA has laid out the case for such exceptional aid to both Minister Creed and Commissioner Hogan. The evidence is clear that beef farmers have taken a big Brexit hit already. Losses are running at €4 million a week due to price cuts, and this can only be attributed to Brexit instability,” he said.
Mr Graham insisted that any EU beef support to alleviate the consequences of Brexit must be directed at those who have taken the hit: beef producers. “While we await more detail on the support package sought, ICSA believes that beef processors have made beef farmers carry all of the can when it comes to Brexit instability. Therefore, it is the beef farmer who must be supported by Brussels. Nothing less than €100 per finished animal will do as compensation for hard pressed beef farmers. In fact, the losses by bull beef producers are substantially higher. The most efficient way of dealing with what has happened so far is to pay beef farmers directly.”
“There are no easy solutions to the Brexit mess. One thing is certain: unless there is a real urgency about securing this EU support package for Irish beef farmers, the sector will not survive the ongoing Brexit instability.”