Irish Farmers’ Association demands Sterling depreciation action plan
The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has asked the Government to take urgent action on the Sterling depreciation and the volume of cattle exports to the UK, as Irish beef farmers are losing “close to €2 million per week”.
IFA president Joe Healy warned that the “severe impact of the Brexit Sterling exchange rate crisis on the incomes of beef farmers” cannot be overlooked and called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to mount an “urgent” plan to deal with it.
According to the IFA, the UK beef market is up by 7% since April, while Sterling is down 8% in the same period.
When the UK election was called, Sterling was at 85p:€1 and had been at, or close to that level, in previous months and today it’s standing at 92p:€1, meaning that the impact on the price of beef is about 15c/kg, said the IFA.
As part of the association’s recommendations, Healy urged the Government to demand that the CAP Crisis Reserve fund be used to provide direct support to farmers and to provide additional support for the Beef Data and Genomics Programme of €25 million for a “bolt on welfare element worth €50 per suckler cow”.
In addition, he asked the Irish Government to secure direct support at EU level for affected producers through CAP Market Support measures.
What’s more, he demanded funding of an additional €5 million for the Sheep Welfare Scheme to provide a €5 per ewe top up for hill and lowland producers who undertake additional environmental measures.