The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) has asked the EU for a Brexit support package for beef farmers struggling with the continuing Brexit uncertainty. Anna Tobin reports
Addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine on The Future of the Beef Sector in the Context of Food Wise 2025 in the Dáil, the ICSA president, Patrick Kent, said: “For beef producers, Brexit has already effectively happened. While support in the event of a no-deal Brexit has been mooted, the extension to October just prolongs the uncertainty. The beef sector needs a rescue package from Brussels now and the [Irish] Government must strongly push for this.
“The ICSA estimates that prime beef producers are losing almost €4 million (£3.46 million) a week on steers, heifers and young bulls compared to 2015, the last full year before Brexit. The base price today of €3.70 (£3.20) for an R grade steer is way below the real cost of production estimated to be at least €5/kg (£4.33/kg) if we allow for a farmer’s own labour cost.”