A €100 million Brexit beef package for Irish farmers has been announced.
The fund was confirmed by Commissioner Hogan last night (Wednesday), with the European Commission contributing €50 million, which will be matched by €50 million from the Irish government.
IFA president Joe Healy spoke directly to Commissioner Hogan last evening and they met in Brussels on Monday in relation to the proposal IFA had put to the Commission and Department of Agriculture in April, seeking a direct aid package of €100m to cover Brexit beef price cuts.
“Beef farmers have suffered savage price losses due to Brexit uncertainty and it is a welcome development that the EU Commission has recognised this and responded to the IFA proposal,” he said.
IFA national livestock chairman Angus Woods said that while the finer details of the scheme had to be finalised, it was vital that every cent goes directly to farmers.
Mr. Woods is in Brussels where he is due to meet with EU Commission officials and members of Commissioner Hogan’s Cabinet to work through some of the details on the aid package.
Mayo Senator Michelle Mulherin Mulherin welcomed the fund, which, she said, will be a big help to the suckler farming sector in Mayo, which has been hit very badly by stagnant beef prices.
She said: “Over the past months, I have been in regular contact with farmers and have discussed their difficulties in regular communication with Commissioner Hogan, highlighting the plight of beef farmers and the continuous hammering they have been getting for the price of beef when they come to sell.
“It is totally unsustainable and the future of the whole sector is under serious pressure because of this.
“This has a particular impact on Mayo and the west where suckler farming is predominant and the beating heart of agriculture.
“I had also been highlighting the issue at the Join Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, of which I am a member, and I also I raised my concerns with Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
“I am delighted Commissioner Hogan has secured this substantial funding at this crucial time and that EU has responded to calls for assistance.”