€100m beef fund must be distributed, but with 200 head of cattle limit - ICSA president
The newly elected president of the ICSA, Edmond Phelan, has said that the €100m beef fund must be distributed as soon as possible.
Phelan, who was elected ICSA National President last night, said that while the association has not finalised its proposal for the distribution of the fund, feedlots must not receive any of the money and that include mean any farmer with more than 200 head of cattle or towards cull cows.
"Some suckler farmers say they took big losses but we have to look at who lost what. He also said that the reference period should be from October 1 to the end of April this year. "We have to finalise our proposal, but the beef finisher has to be looked after or te won't be there to buy cattle next year."
He also said Irish farming does not have a moment to spare when it comes to preventing a disastrous Mercosur trade deal for Irish beef farmers.
“ICSA is vehemently opposed to any Mercosur deal that includes a tariff rate quota for beef. Not only would it be economically devastating for Irish beef farmers, it is also farcical that the EU should expect Irish farmers to adopt a broad array of climate change measures while they ignore the massive climate change and environmental downsides of importing vast quantities of beef from South America.
"The Oireachtas Committee for Agriculture has this week backed that position. ICSA will now be pushing for this backing to translate into the deal being voted down when it comes before the Dáil.”
“We also need to turn the debate on climate change towards policies which recognise the positive contribution of farmers in terms of more renewables and recognising increased efficiencies in minimising emissions and proper accounting of sequestration. While the Climate Action Plan will be very challenging for the agriculture sector, farmers will always respond to the right incentives.”
Hailing from Fenor, Co Waterford where he runs a beef enterprise, Mr Phelan is a former beef chair of ICSA. He will take up his position as ICSA president immediately.
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