Supporting beef & sheep
The beef and sheep sectors are key tenets of Irish agriculture. Ireland’s beef production is underpinned by the 1 million beef suckler cow herd kept on over 70,000 farms, while 34,000 farmers manage over 5 million sheep on the land.
Low income suckler and sheep farmers continue to depend exclusively on direct payments for their livelihoods with average incomes at €13,000 and 17,000 respectively. It is vital to secure increased supports for vulnerable suckler and sheep farmers, who contribute significantly to the economy of rural Ireland and play a key role in conserving land and preventing land abandonment in regions.
Fianna Fáil’s plan to support beef and sheep farmers
Boost funding supports
Seek EU recognition of the negative impact of Brexit and any Mercosur deal on suckler farmers’ incomes, and request funding supports including CAP market disturbance funds, while increasing market diversification supports.
Additional Suckler Cow Support payment
Secure additional funding in the next CAP programme to achieve a suckler cow support payment of €200 per cow.
Protect suckler farmers
Protect suckler farmers and the beef sector in all upcoming EU trade deals, while reject increased beef access in any potential agreement with South American Mercosur countries.
Increase Sheep Welfare Scheme payments
All unspent Sheep Welfare Scheme proceeds should be channelled into increasing the current payment rate per ewe for farmers enrolled.
Supplement EID costs
Sheep farmers should not be foisted with any additional costs associated with Electronic Identification (EID) given their low income status.