IRELAND - The Minister for Agriculture Food & the Marine Simon Coveney T.D. has announced the mechanism for the distribution of the €1m direct aid package for pig farmers in Ireland.
The Minister was speaking at the presentation to him of a report from the Pig Industry Stakeholder Group, which sets out over 60 recommendations to address the challenges facing the industry. On the mechanism for the payment the Minister confirmed that a flat rate payment will issue to pig farmers under the EU direct aid package for the sector.
Commenting on the funding package the Minister said: "I am pleased to announce that a direct aid package payment will issue to all pig farmers shortly. This means a flat rate payment of over €3,000 to each farmer. This support payment originates from a package of measures proposed by the EU Commission in response to the significant price deterioration experienced by pig farmers in 2015, the impact of which has been exacerbated by the closure of the Russian market. The Government decided to match the EU funding for the sector thus providing for a €1m package."
The Minister confirmed that flat rate payments will issue to all pig farmers with a minimum level of supply of 200 pigs slaughtered in 2015. This will ensure that the payment is directed to those farmers most affected by the price volatility, thus meeting the requirements of the EU Regulations providing the funding. Further details will be sent to pig herdowners in the coming days. In addition, the Minister confirmed that he is considering the allocation of some funding under this package to the Irish Pig Society to further their work in representing smaller scale producers.
The Minister was also presented with a report by Pig Industry Stakeholder Group chaired by Dr Sean Brady and whose memberships were drawn from across the sector. The group’s remit was to address these challenges facing the sector under themes such as Biosecurity, Animal Welfare, Quality Assurance, Antiobiotic Usage, Animal Health, Salmonella Control Programme, Marketing, Feed, Non Intensive Sector and Other Production Models. Submissions were received and presented to the Committee by many areas related to the industry.
Chair of the Pig Industry Stakeholder Group Dr. Sean Brady said: “I believe farmers and the processing industry in Ireland are ready, willing and able to take on the challenges and grasp the opportunities highlighted in this report, and to continue to play a significant part in the ongoing development and growth of the Irish agri-food sector.”
In thanking the stakeholder group the Minister commented: “It is timely for the industry to take a collective view of how best to address the challenges facing it in order to support the development of the industry in accordance with the Food Wise 2025 vision. Indeed the preparation of this report is one of the key recommendations under the Food Wise Report. I would like to thank Dr. Sean Brady for chairing the Group and of course the Committee who gave so much of their time and vast expertise towards producing this report and its recommendations. I note that there are over 60 recommendations in the report and there is something for all stakeholders including farmers, processors, Government and Agencies to think about. For our part I can assure you that we will study this report in detail and reflect fully on the recommendations.”
ThePigSite News Desk