The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) has called on Minister McConalogue to renew the Beef Finisher Payment for 2021.

“Further financial aid for beef finishers is essential to ensure as many farmers as possible can emerge from this prolonged COVID crisis,” beef chair Edmund Graham has said.

“While prices have picked up in recent weeks, these increases in no way make up for the months of savage price cuts beef farmers had to endure in advance of that.”

The ICSA warns that beef finishers are moving further and further away from achieving the actual cost of production.

Minimum bureaucracy

Graham has said that beef finishers need further financial support for losses incurred on cattle sold from last November to at least the end of April 2021.

“The scheme did what it was supposed to do, and bureaucracy was kept to a minimum. Crucially, there was no de-stocking clause and factory owned animals were not eligible,” Graham continued.

“The scheme helped the winter finishers who needed it most and also provided an indirect boost to suckler farmers when it came to the autumn sales. It is clear the same support must be provided for this year.”

The ICSA has pointed to the EU’s COVID-19 recovery fund to facilitate such the scheme.