In welcoming the announcement of a support fund for the beef sector the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association are insisting that any support measure must include our suckler sector. INHFA President Colm O’Donnell outlined how the proposed €100m is a good start in providing a much need support to farmers across the beef sector who have endured substantial losses over the last year. However he maintained “this €100m should not be seen as the only solution and believes further funding will be needed as early as this autumn.”
While the main focus over the last number of months stated O’Donnell “has been on losses incurred by beef finishers, suckler farmers selling through the marts have also experienced major losses which needs to be recognised and included in this support fund.” These farmers he added “are at least €100/head back on where they were in 2017 and this is the minimum payment they need”
Clearly he continued “beef finishers who have been impacted will need to be supported and we have no problem with this, however we also need to consider the fact that 20% of finished stock comes from factory controlled feed-lots which are seen by many as a mechanism to deflate the price.”
In concluding he outlined, how plans now need to be finalised as soon as possible to get this money out to farmers. The INHFA looks forward to discussions on this with the Minister and his officials in the coming days.