The IFA has said it will be making a strong case for funding from Ireland’s €1bn Brexit fund to go directly to farmers.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney confirmed the funding at the AGM of the north Tipperary executive meeting on Tuesday night.
The funds are 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 €1.05bn (25%) of that will be received by Ireland.
Brunt of fallout
IFA president Tim Cullinan welcomed the announcement as a clear recognition that Ireland is most exposed to the fallout from Brexit.
He said: “When it comes to allocating the funding, the impact on the agri-food sector will have to be central to any decisions.
“IFA will be making a strong case for funding to go directly to farmers who will take the brunt of any fallout from currency fluctuations and trade and logistical issues.”
The IFA has voiced concerns on how non-tariff barriers will affect trade flows, with green lanes having been implemented previously for food exports.
The association’s president also warned that the longer-term implication for food exports could be the flooding of the UK market by cheap imports.
Cullinan said: “We know the UK agenda is to offer access to their food market to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and the Mercosur countries of South America in exchange for trade deals with those countries.
“If that happens, then the value of the UK market for Irish food exports will be cut and Irish farmers will suffer huge income losses, with knock-on effects on EU markets. The level playing field provisions built into this deal by the EU must stop any race to the bottom.”