Thursday 22 August 2019

Goodman and Maktoum family again high up list of Ireland's CAP payments

Larry Goodman. Picture: Tom Burke
Larry Goodman. Picture: Tom Burke
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Beef businessman Larry Goodman and his family, the Emirate Maktoum family and Bord Bia are all in receipt of hundreds of thousands of euro in EU farm payments, according to the latest list.

Their names all appear in the 2018 list of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) beneficiaries, which is published annually by the Department of Agriculture.

On average, the total direct payment received by Irish farmers was €17,292, according to Teagasc.

Although average direct payments are lowest on cattle-rearing farms at €13,109, the reliance on the same and their overall contribution to farm income was 158pc in 2018, the highest on record.

The CAP is Europe's answer to the need for a decent standard of living for 22 million farmers and agricultural workers.

The figures for CAP beneficiaries published on the Department of Agriculture's website come amid the EU Commission proposals on reform of the payment.

The proposed reforms include recommendations that EU farm payments are capped at €60,000.

Meanwhile, Larry Goodman and his family continue to feature as one of the largest recipients of CAP funds at more than €413,000 through their two farms, Branganstown and Glydee, in EU payments - down from the €422,000 it received in 2016.

Godolphin Ireland - owned by the Maktoum family - received €204,675 through its significant equine operations.

Bord Bia and the National Dairy Council received more than €1.4m and €195,000 respectively with numerous county councils, stage agencies and Leader groups also receiving significant monies.

Recently IFA president Joe Healy claimed Sheikh Mohammad, Coolmore Stud, Larry Goodman and their likes were not "genuine farmers", arguing that CAP funding should go to genuine farmers.

Speaking at the IFA AGM, Mr Healy said CAP direct payments should no longer be used to fund sheikhs and beef barons.

"They should be used for farmers who are up in the middle of the night to calve cows, lamb ewes and work around the clock to harvest crops.

"I doubt the sheikh has much experience on the combine or with the calving jack."

He also said no Irish Commissioner or Minister for Agriculture could ever agree to proposed cuts to the CAP.

Individual farmers who received significant EU farm payments included Wexford farmer Walter Furlong, who has built up a large grain production outfit with his business partner Kevin Cooney. Between them they own the Cooney & Furlong Grain Company. Furlong farms around 3,500 acres of land in Wexford and his company Walter Furlong Grain Ltd received over €213,222.

Kilkenny vegetable farmers O'Sheas, who recently secured a major contract to supply Aldi with potatoes, received €229,633.96.

Country Crest owners and Dublin farmers Michael and Gabriel Hoey, who in 2018 extended their deal with Tesco Ireland to supply all potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes to the supermarket in a deal worth over €60m, received €182,738.

Holy Ghost Fathers, who run Rockwell College and a substantial 1,100-acre dairy farm outside Cashel, received €141,739.

Peter and John Queally benefited from over €201,328 in CAP funding. The Queally brothers, along with Dan Browne, set up Dawn Meats in 1980.

The privately owned company handles about 20pc of Ireland's beef.

Meat processor Kepak's farm in Ratoath, which is owned by the Keating family, received €167,764.

The Kepak farm finishes around 3,500 cattle a year.

Irish Independent

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