ICMSA leader Pat McCormack
The President of Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) has described the suggestion that preconditions might be imposed on farmers seeking to access the €100 million beef fund as “unfair”.
Mr. Pat McCormack stated the only precondition that should apply, was that the applicant could demonstrate that they had suffered losses under Brexit-related headings at any stage along the beef chain, whether calf, weanlings, store or finished or whether steer, bull, heifer or cow.
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He said that the fund itself was in danger of becoming a point of disagreement instead of a rallying point, as more conditions were attached and certain categories or classes sought more for themselves at the expense of others.
He said, “What is a welcome recognition of the losses suffered by all farmers involved in Irish beef production is now in danger of becoming itself a contentious matter.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that the EU Commission would allocate this money in recognition of the losses Irish farmers have been taking since mid-2018 as a direct result of Brexit – but then go on to attach conditions to accessing it that, will in many cases, compound those losses.
“ICMSA believe that the whole point of an aid package was to try and make good proven losses; but if we see the Commission try to sneak in questionable policy changes by making access to the aid conditional on adherence to those policy changes then that alters the whole basis and makes it unfair,” he added.
The ICMSA president concluding by calling on the Department to publish the details of the submission they made to the Commission.
“ICMSA repeats its call on the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine to publish its submission to the Commission for the aid and to set out – in full – the basis on which that proposal was made and the outline of how they envisaged the aid being distributed,” he concluded.