At a recent IFA lobby on the beef crisis in Dublin, February 13th, IFA President, Joe Healy, has given estimates of the detrimental impact a hard-Brexit scenario would have on the beef industry.
According to IFA estimates, the imposition of WTO tariffs in a hard-Brexit situation would result in a direct cost of €800m per year on the beef sector!
“IFA estimate the imposition of WTO tariffs in a hard-Brexit will impose a direct cost on the beef sector of €800m per year” said Mr. Healy speaking earlier today.
The IFA president noted that while the Government and other sectors are talking about preparing for Brexit, beef farmers are already counting their losses. He pointed to the recent decrease in cattle prices as an example, with cattle prices down by €100 per head on this time last year.
Mr. Healy said Brexit uncertainty and the weakness of sterling has already hit hard on beef prices and farm incomes, with a 16% decrease witnessed in 2018.
“The income situation on beef and livestock farms is at crisis point. The latest independent data from Teagasc shows farm incomes are down 16% in 2018 and incomes on cattle are between €10,175 and €15,412.” He said.
Lobbying TDs and Senators -
At today’s IFA lobby of TD and Senators, IFA representatives presented a detailed list of proposals to those attending, including an EU Brexit Emergency Support Package to politicians, demanding that the Taoiseach and the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed take urgent action with the EU Commission to address the Beef and Brexit issues.
Proposals listed include :
- An EU Brexit Emergency Support Package involving a comprehensive set of market supports and direct aid for farmers from the EU Commission
- EU state aid limitations on members states must be set-aside
- Challenge the meat factories to immediately increase prices and prioritise the young bull kill. Increase factory controls on trim, classification and weights.
- Strong support for the live export trade to double numbers in 2019 and ensure that no further restrictions are imposed on the trade
- Reward quality suckler stock with a significant price premium
- Increased funding for suckler to €200 per cow
- Insist on an increase in the CAP budget
- Continue to resist a damaging Mercosur trade deal
- Climate change recommendations which focus on the Teagasc roadmap with no carbon-based production quota.
Price Requests -
The National Livestock Chairman of the IFA, Angus Woods, also confirmed that the IFA have requested that for every 5c/kg change on the price, Minister Creed needs to secure €20 per head additional direct payment compensation.
Angus Woods said Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and the Government must adopt an urgent approach to the crisis in the beef sector. He said the Minister needs to abandon his ‘wait and see attitude’ and get back out to Brussels to secure an immediate aid package for Brexit beef losses.