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Calleary announces details of €50 million Beef Finisher Payment scheme “This is a significant support for up to 42,000 farmers impacted by the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic”

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary T.D., today announced details of the Beef Finishers Payment (BFP), an Exchequer funded scheme of €50 million to provide income support for up to 42,000 farmers with beef finishing enterprises, who have been impacted by the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister Calleary stated “I am fully aware of the difficulties caused by Covid-19 in the Irish beef sector and the consequences for those in beef farming and for the rural economy as a whole. Farmers with finished animals suffered from both reduced prices and other restrictions in getting animals to market. The closure of the food service market in Ireland, the UK and beyond has had a dramatic impact on the industry and in particular those who supply it to make their living.”

Minister Calleary commented “This targeted support for farmers who finished cattle during the period from 1 February to 12 June 2020 will help to mitigate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic for those farmers and provide a valuable additional income support this year. Beef farming is an important economic activity, with a significant multiplier effect in local rural communities, and thus is more important than ever in sustaining these communities as we work towards economic recovery.”

This measure is targeted at farmers who finished animals and comes on top of a significant increase in targeted environmental and welfare supports for suckler production earlier this year, in the form of the BEEP-Sucklers scheme.

Minister Calleary noted that though the scheme will be funded by the Irish exchequer, details of the scheme have been notified to the European Commission  in accordance with the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework. 

An estimated 42,000 farmers will be eligible to apply for the scheme, which will be based on the number of cattle sent for slaughter in the period from 1 February to 12 June 2020, subject to a limit of 100 animals per herd.  Based on estimates of eligible animals, a rate in the region of €100 per animal will be payable.

In the event of an over subscription, the rate of payment per animal will be subject to a linear cut in order to comply with the available budget of €50 million.

The opening date for applications will be 19 August 2020 and the closing date will be  9 September 2020.  Detail of the measure including terms and conditions and how to apply will be made available in due course at www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmerschemesandpayments/BFP 

Applications will be made online through the agfood.ie portal.

Note for editors:

‘Eligible animals’ slaughtered:

  • Slaughtered in the reference period of 1 February to 12 June 2020.
  • Aged 8 months or more when slaughtered
  • Resident on the qualifying herd for at least 30 days prior to slaughter (if not the previous owner is eligible for payment if they are an applicant and have had the animal for over 30 days on their holding)
  • Animals identified on the Department systems as presented for slaughter by or on behalf of a factory will not be eligible.
  • Subject to a cap on payments in respect of 100  eligible animals per herd.

Eligible applicants:

  •  A farmer who has presented animals for slaughter in the reference period
  • The holder of an active herd number with Herd Owner Status.
  • Farming a holding in respect of which a valid Basic Payment Scheme application has been submitted in 2020 to the Department.
  • Agent or Dealer herd numbers are not eligible for payment
  • Conditionality: Applicant must be a member of the Bord Bia Beef and Lamb Quality Assurance Scheme at the time of application, or undertake to become a member of a quality scheme prior to 30 September 2020.

 

For assistance on registering for www.agfood.ie  as a first step in making an online application, farmers can contact the AgFood Registration Helpdesk on 0761 064424.  They can also contact this phone number should they require assistance to register an agricultural consultant or Teagasc adviser to apply on their behalf.

Farmers can also contact the Department by ringing the Direct Payments Helpline at 076 106 4420 where a member of staff can advise on the matter.  

ENDS

Date Released: 05 August 2020