The agri-food industry is the sector most exposed and impacted by the change in relationship with the UK and this must be reflected in how the funding is used nationally, the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) has said.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney confirmed the funding at the IFA AGM of the north Tipperary executive meeting on Tuesday night.
The support comes as part of the Brexit adjustment Reserve, which is worth a total of €5.4bn up until 2024.
A total of €4.2bn will be released this year and €1.5bn (25%) of that will be received by Ireland.
ICOS president Jerry Long welcomed the funding as recognition that Ireland is the country most impacted by Brexit.
The president also highlights that trade with the UK has now become more expensive, estimating an 8% cost increase for the agri-food sector as a result of these additional certification and administration processes.
“The Brexit adjustment funding must go towards mitigating these costs, supporting preparation by businesses and there should also be a retrospective element to the funding as many have already incurred very significant costs.”
ICOS has called for the funding to be administered in the form of schemes, such as:
Similarly,Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) president Edmond Phelan has welcomed the funding announcement
“ICSA is committed to ensuring that Irish cattle and sheep farmers receive a substantial piece of this fund.
“Uncertainty around Brexit has severely impacted prices since the referendum was passed.
“The Brexit deal has not signalled the end of the disruption faced by cattle and sheep farmers.
“The UK has long since been our biggest market and the threat of that market being displaced by cheaper imports from around the world remains.”