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Minister Coughlan announces the rate for the Sugar Beet Compensation being incorporated into the Single Payment Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan, TD, today announced that, following the processing of applications from farmers for the establishment of entitlements on the grounds of force majeure and new entrants to farming, she has agreed the rates applicable under the sugar beet element of the Single Payment Scheme. "This element in total is worth approximately €123 million to beet growers over the next seven years" the Minister said.

Minister Coughlan pointed out that the rates would be multiplied by the average of contracted sugar beet tonnage for the three reference years to establish the additional amount of Single Payment payable to each contract holder. The number of additional Single Payment entitlements (hectares) allocated to each farmer based on the contracted sugar beet area grown had already been established following correspondence with each contract holder.

This compensation is due following the reform of the EU sugar regime and will benefit those farmers who held contracts to grow sugar beet during one or more of the years 2001, 2002 and 2004. There are two elements to the package, with an additional sum payable during each of the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The following table details the rates per tonne:

Year Compensation Rate per Contracted Tonne Rate for additional Amount made available in the Single Payment Scheme National Ceiling for Ireland Total Amount per Contracted Tonne
2006 €8.32 €1.29 €9.62
2007 €10.42 €1.29 €11.71
2008 €12.51 €1.29 €13.80
2009 €13.63 €1.29 €14.92
2010 €13.63 - €13.63
2011 €13.63 - €13.63
2012 €13.63 - €13.63

"The task of incorporating this element into the 2006 Single Payment is well underway within my Department at present" the Minister explained, adding "In accordance with the governing EU regulations a reduction of 1.82% must be made to provide for the National Reserve. In this regard, specific provision is being made for sugar beet growers under the 2006 National Reserve".

Details of these arrangements will be announced in due course.

27 September, 2006

Date Released: 27 September 2006