Minister Michael Creed

  • Next Monday 19th August is the opening date for the new financial assistance scheme for beef and suckler farmers.

     Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has confirmed that the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure will be open for applications from next Monday 19th August to the 8th September, and applications can be made online only at AgFood.ie

    The €100 million euro scheme is being funded by the EU and Irish Government, in light of the difficult circumstances Irish beef farmers have been facing as a result of market volatility and Brexit uncertainty.

    Minister Creed says the scheme is targeted towards farmers most affected.

    Aid will be paid on adult cattle slaughtered between 25th Sept last year and 12th May this year at a rate of €100 per animal.

    Aid will also be paid on suckler cows that calved in 2018 at a rate of €40 per animal.

    Only dairy herds of less than 40 dairy cows are eligible.

     

     

     

  • The Agriculture Minister has intervened in the talks in the ongoing beef dispute.

    A third day of negotiations is underway in Co Kildare, involving representatives from the Beef Plan Movement, Meat Industry Ireland, farming organisations, and Minister Michael Creed.

    The long-running dispute centres on the prices farmers are getting from the factories for their animals.

    Meanwhile, the ICSA has urged factories not to discriminate against farmers who took part in recent factory protests.

    The association says it has come to their attention that many farmers feel they are being treated less favourably by several meat processors as a direct result of their having participated in the protests, and some are even being turned away.

    The Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers Association says punishing farmers who engaged in peaceful protests is unacceptable.

     

  • The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed will visit Ballaghadereen today, for the official launch of a major investment at the Aurivo Dairy Ingredients plant in the town.

    Aurivo has invested €26 million in installing a new spray dryer at the Ballaghadereen site, to boost capacity at the facility by 50%.

    It's part of a wider €48 million five-year capital investment programme by Aurivo to enable new product development and meet global demand.

    The Agriculture Minister is due in Ballaghadereen at about lunchtime to launch the new developments.

    Meanwhile, the Beef Plan Movement is holding a peaceful protest in Ballaghadereen this morning.

    They say that, two weeks after a list of demands was handed into the Department of Agriculture following a major rally in Dublin, there's been no correspondence from the Minister or his Department.

     

     

     

  • Payments under the 2019 Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) have commenced to 32,444 farmers, to the value of some €75 million.

    The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, today confirmed the schemes commencement saying that the payments to farmers in the beef sector under BEAM represents recognition by his Department, the Government and the EU of the very challenging and difficult climate that these farmers have had to face in recent years.  

    These payments are in addition to some €15.4 million under BEEP and €34.4 million in BDGP payments that have already issued in recent weeks, making a total of €125 million to Irish beef farmers. 

    Since September a total of €1.72 billion has now been paid out to Ireland’s farmers under a range of schemes operated by the Department.

    BEAM payments will continue to issue on an ongoing basis as more famers are verified as compliant with the requirements of the Measure.

  • The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed has announced an extension to the closing dates for Beef Environmental Efficiency Policy applications.

    BEEP applicants now have until the 8 November to weigh their animals, and weight data is to be submitted to the ICBF by 5pm on 15th of November.

    The Department will pay €40 per pair of animals to applicants who comply with the requirements.

    Eligible animals for the scheme must be born between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019

    So far, weight data in respect of some 350,000 cow/calf weights have been returned to the ICBF.

  • The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed was in Ballaghadereen this afternoon, for the official opening of a new spray dryer facility at the Aurivo Dairy Ingredients plant.

    The new dryer is a significant element in Aurivo's €48 million capital investment programme, to boost its Dairy Ingredients capacity by 55%, producing over 60,000 tonnes of milk powder for international markets and 15,000 tonnes of butter annually.

    Aurivo Co-Op now employs about 680 people, including over 150 in Ballaghadereen.

    The new spray dryer facility involved 150 construction workers working 7 days per week since last October to complete the project on time and within budget.

    Members of the Beef Plan movement staged a protest outside the Aurivo plant ahead of the Minister's arrival, to outline concerns mainly in relation to the prices farmers are getting for beef, and the challenges facing suckler farmers.

     

     

  • The IFA is calling on the Agriculture Minister to extend the closing date for the €100 million beef support scheme until after next week's Ploughing Championships, to allow farmers make their application at the Department of Agriculture stand at the ploughing.

    The closing date for Beef Exceptional Aid Measure has already been extended to this Sunday, with a strong level of applications this week.

    The IFA says there's a unique opportunity at the Ploughing Championships next week to get farmers to apply at the Department stand, and they calling on Minister Creed to further extend the closing date and provide this opportunity for farmers- given the severe income crisis in the livestock sector.

  • The Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has announced details of the €100 million Beef Exceptional Aid Measure for Irish farmers.

    The funding is being provided by the EU and the Irish Government in recognition of the difficult circumstances beef farmers are experiencing as a result of market volatility and the uncertainty arising from Brexit.

    Aid will be paid on adult cattle slaughtered between 24th Spet 2018 and May 12th 2019 at a rate of €100 per animal, subject to a maximum of 100 finished animals per herd.

    Aid will also be paid on suckler cows that calved in 2018.

    Dairy herds are not eligible for the assistance - with the exception of dairy herds of less than 40 dairy cows.

    The scheme will open for applications during the third week of August, and applications will be accepted online through AgFood.ie

    Mayo FG Senator Michelle Mulherin has welcomed the new fund to assist suckler farmers, who she says are the lifeblood of this region.

    However, the IFA says substantially more funding and supports will be needed for the beef sector, given the increasing threat of a no-deal Brexit.

    While welcoming the scheme announced today which covers losses between September and May, IFA President Joe Healy says unfortunately prices have deteriorated much further since May, with base prices down €160 per head.

    He's calling for further direct aid support for farmers to deal with losses incurred since May.

    The ICMSA says the decision to exclude dairy farmers with herds of over 40 cows from the new scheme is unjust and unfair and sets a dangerous precedent.

     

  • The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed has announced further details on the extension of mandatory electronic identification to all sheep.

    Since his announcement  last May of mandatory electronic identification to all sheep, he says his dept  has engaged with stakeholders in relation to the practical concerns raised in introducing the new system and has made some adaptations.

     Minister Creed says the new requirements will now be introduced in two stages as follows:

    With effect from 1st October 2018, all National Sheep Identification System (NSIS) approved tag suppliers will only sell two tag types:

    single electronic slaughter tags (for animals less than 12 months for lambs moving directly from the farm of birth to slaughter), and electronic tag sets (for all other sheep movements). 

    With effect from 1 June 2019 all sheep moving off a holding must be identified electronically, requiring either a single electronic slaughter tag, where lambs less than 12 months of age are moved directly from the birth holding to a slaughter plant, or an electronic tag set, in the case of all other sheep movements.

    There will be a once-off payment of up to a maximum of €100 per farmer, which will be related to the purchase of electronic tags from 1 October 2018. This is double the previous proposed figure of €50 payment. In the context of simplification, sheep farmers will not need to make an application for this funding, as the Department is in a position to use its records to calculate the amount due to each farmer under the scheme.

  • A farmers protest is continuing for a second day in Dublin - disrupting traffic for morning commuters in the city.

    The independent group of farmers organising the protest had insisted they meet with the Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.

    Without prior notification, Minister Creed came out to talk to farmers for about 10 minutes earlier this morning - he said he understood their concerns and was trying to get the beef taskforce back up and running.

    However, the organisers insisted they were staying put until the Minister met with an appointed delegation.

    It's understood that meeting is now taking place in the lobby of the Dept of Agriculture, and the farmers have handed a letter to Minister Creed with their demands.

    Getting injunctions against two farmers lifted following the recent beef protests, and better prices for beef are among the main issues.

  • The Agriculture Minister is urging Meat Industry Ireland to reflect on their decision to withdraw from beef talks.

    Talks between all stakeholders involved were due to resume yesterday but MII pulled out because farmers continue to protest at processing plants.

    Meat Industry Ireland says the blockades are forcing some factories to close indefinitely, and says lay-offs will result.

    Minister Michael Creed expressed disappointment at the failure of both sides to meet yesterday evening, and has urged all parties to engage in a positive way for try and resolve the current impasse.

    Minister Creed says it's essential that MII engages with farmers.

    Meanwhile, farmers protesting outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis today say they will stay put, despite demands from Meat Industry Ireland to step away from the factory protests.

  • The Minister for Agriculture has written an open letter to protesting beef farmers asking them to stop their blockades of meat factories.

    It comes after farming organisations widely supported recommendations made at the weekend following talks between all sides in the dispute.

    In his letter, Minister Micheal Creed says the agreement is a compromise and nobody got everything they wanted from the weekend talks.

    He adds that many farmers simply wanted an immediate price increase but it was not legally possible to have that option on the table.

    Minister Creed says bonuses have been agreed on and an independent chairperson on the new Beef market taskforce will help implement all the proposals

    He ends by saying everyone has a responsibility  - including protesting farmers who hold the future of the sector in their own hands

  • Talks in the ongoing beef dispute have "successfully concluded", according to the Agriculture Minister.

    Minister Michael Creed said that, after long and detailed negotiations, progress was made on "important initiatives aimed at improving transparency along the supply chain."

    Groups representing farmers and the meat industry agreed on a number of sticking points such as a review of the grid and a review of the criteria for the quality payment system bonus.

    Commitments were also agreed on promotional initiatives for the beef sector and market transparency initiatives.

    However, the Irish Farmer's Association says farmers will be disappointed that there is no increase on the main issue of beef prices.

    Galway-based IFA President Joe Healy said the fact that the talks took place on the pre-condition that price would not be discussed was ignoring the elephant in the room.

    With Brexit just 71 days away, he said strong EU and Government support is urgently required for beef farmers who are in the middle of a severe income crisis.