The €80m support package announced by EU agriculture commissioner, Janusz Wojciechowski, will not be nearly enough to support agriculture, particularly beef farmers, through the current crisis.
Those were the words of IFA president, Tim Cullinan, who spoke following a meeting of European farm leaders with the commissioner through the European farmers’ umbrella body, COPA.
“While the aids to private storage (APS) Scheme is an acknowledgement of the problems facing the sector, the funding won’t be sufficient.”
“It amounts to less than €8 for every farmer in Europe,” he stressed.
Beef price collapse
Cullinan pointed out that financial crisis for beef finishers, as a result of the COVID-19 beef price collapse, is so severe that a much more substantial financial package involving market supports and direct payment aid is required.
“I am concerned that the EU Commission appears to be taking agriculture and the food supply chain for granted.”
“Farmers and all those in the chain have been working very hard to keep food on the table, but beef farmers are now in crisis and dairy markets are under severe pressure,” he said.
“We believe the increased cost of storage for beef and dairy product has not been adequately taken into account in this scheme,” he added.
Cullinan is of the opinion that Minister Creed must push for a significant increase in the commission allocation.
“The Minister also needs to come forward with national funding to support beef farmers,” the farm leader concluded.