While the funds are finite in the €100m Brexit compensation fund, “their distribution must be fair to all producers in the beef chain,” ICOS livestock executive Ray Doyle has said.
The marts committee of the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) is seeking an immediate meeting with Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and his officials to discuss the proposed new compensation package for beef farmers.
ICOS wants the Minister to ensure that the scheme is implemented equitably to include provision for farmers who traded animals through livestock marts.
Doyle said that the package will be provided through implementing regulation from DG AGRI, which is expected to be quite short and will potentially be based on the compensation package given specifically to Finnish dairy farmers directly following the Russian import ban.
“It will therefore be nearly entirely up to the Department of Agriculture to decide how the package is distributed, with little prescription from DG AGRI.
It will not be acceptable that this compensation could be directed to a handful of factory agents
“Undoubtedly, beef finishers have had a disastrous 2018 and 2019, but so too did sellers of weanlings, forward stores and cull cows.
"It will not be acceptable that this compensation could be directed to a handful of factory agents if this scheme amounts to slaughter-only assistance.
“With the Animal Identification and Movement System, it will be possible to ascertain the ownership and trading history of animals before they have been presented for slaughter.
“While the funds are finite, their distribution must be fair to all producers in the beef chain. That is why we are seeking a meeting with the Minister,” he said.
The compensation package is based on an analysis proving market disturbance, ICOS said.
The analysis takes account of data gathered by the Department on three factors in the period between October 2018 and March 2019:Sterling depreciation.Flat-lining of producer prices despite a usual increase (with a data comparison done with the last two years).Investment and market insecurity in the sector.
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