The Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM), details of which were announced this morning by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, will help hard pressed beef farmers in County Cork, North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has said.
Cllr. O’Shea said: “This new €100 million aid measure will be funded by the Government and the European Union. The litmus test will be for normal market conditions and prices to have resumed by the time of weanling sales this coming September.
“This measure will be funded by a combination of EU exceptional aid and Exchequer support, provided in light of the difficult circumstances that Irish beef farmers have been facing as a result of market volatility and uncertainty arising out of Brexit.
“I am keenly aware that the past few months have been very difficult for beef farmers here in County Cork and across the country.
“There has been a prolonged and exceptional period of depressed prices since last autumn, with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit, among other factors, contributing to this market disturbance.
“The availability of this EU and Exchequer support, together with the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) introduced earlier this year, provides an injection of up to €120m in aid for the beef sector in 2019.
“The aid will be targeted towards those farmers most affected. BEAM is also designed to meet the requirements set out by the Commission, including granting support to farmers engaging in actions which enhance their long-term resilience and sustainability.
“Aid will be paid on adult cattle slaughtered between 24 September 2018 and 12 May 2019, at a rate of €100 per animal subject to a maximum of 100 finished animals per herd.
“Aid will also be paid on suckler cows that calved in 2018, at a rate of €40 per animal subject to a maximum of 40 sucklers per herd.
“BEAM will open for applications during the third week of August 2019. Applications will be accepted online through AgFood.ie and I would encourage all eligible County Cork farmers to apply in good time.
“This scheme has been designed to make the application process as user-friendly and accessible as possible for farmers. I am delighted to confirm that farmers will be in a position to apply within weeks, with a view to making payments to farmers as quickly as possible.”