“Factories can’t get it, factory feedlots can’t get it, factory agents or dealers buying finished cattle in marts shouldn’t get part of it – this fund is aimed at genuine farmers, the finishers and suckler farmers, and this is who we represent,” IFA treasurer Tim Cullinan told the North Tipp IFA meeting in Nenagh on Tuesday night.
IFA North Tipperary chair Imelda Walsh, IFA treasurer Tim Cullinan and Cork Central IFA chair Harold Kingston were all in agreement on who can’t get part of the €100m. Who exactly should get compensation is to be discussed at IFA national council (the organisation's governing body) next week.
The fund is not going to be able to satisfy everyone. It will have to be looked at primarily as a finished beef price disturbance fund, so that means finished animals
A €100m fund (€50m from the EU and €50m from the Irish Government) was announced in the last week as part of a campaign started by IFA after the UK voted to leave the EU. Baseline figures on losses to farmers were calculated on 2015 slaughter data.
At the meeting in Nenagh, farmers pointed out that if the compo fund is spread too thinly, it will be no good to anyone. Some farmers put forward the case for capping the compensation to a certain number of animals per farm or maybe directing it at farms with smaller basic payments. A number of farmers suggested store and weanling producers also suffered so they need to be looked at.
Harold Kingston said: “The fund is not going to be able to satisfy everyone. It will have to be looked at primarily as a finished beef price disturbance fund, so that means finished animals. The €50m funded by the Irish Government might have more flexibility and that maybe can be targeted more towards suckler farmers.”
Speaking on Monday, European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan said how the €100m Brexit beef fund will be distributed will be a decision for the Minister for Agriculture and the beef industry.
He said: “We didn’t launch the inter-service consultation within the Commission yet, which we will launch this week. Therefore, it will be a matter for Minister Creed to sit down with the beef sector to work out how it’s going to be paid.”
Also at the meeting, Harold Kingston outlined his struggles with burnout as previously very well described in the Irish Farmers Journal and subsequently on the Late Late Show.
Galway IFA chair Anne Mitchell also gave a very good summary of pensions and the Fair Deal scheme. One of her key points was that if a person was still paying into a pension and approaching pension age then they should check out what they might be due before reaching pension age. She was clear there are potentially some small changes that can be made that can make a big difference in terms of payout.
Farmer burnout: 'I just had no energy left'
Beef sector to decide how €100m Brexit fund will be distributed – Hogan