The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) has sought a review of the CAP to provide support to suckler and beef farmers.
IFA livestock chair Brendan Golden said: “We have seen the first cracks appearing in the flawed EU policy of moving supports from food production” and that “for the first time”, the European Commission has “announced that Pillar II funding can be used to directly support farmers’ income”.
Golden called on Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to use these “flexibilities” and the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) to “come forward” with proposals for a €300 suckler cow and €100 per animal beef finisher payment.
Asked if the IFA had costed this, he said: “We probably didn’t want to put a direct cost on it. We didn’t want to limit ourselves in any way.”
He said that within CAP Pillar I, there is “no more money there to go after” but insisted that the Minister can “pull the funding to match our asks [elsewhere]”.
He said the suckler cow payment wouldn’t be a coupled payment, but a targeted one, and that IFA policy against coupled payments remains in place.
With 900,000 suckler cows in the country, a scheme worth €300/cow could cost in the region of €270m/annum.
Golden said the minister must provide suckler and beef farmers with the certainty needed to continue to invest in their farms and plan their production cycles for the coming months and years. He added that beef farmers are particularly concerned about later this year and into next year.