Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Questions (471)

Matt Carthy


471. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a participant in the BEAM scheme who had chosen to defer met the 5% within the initial reference period if the deferral can be reversed or put aside; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38537/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) provided temporary exceptional adjustment aid to farmers in the beef sector in Ireland, subject to the conditions set out in EU Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1132. BEAM was funded by a combination of EU aid and Exchequer support. It was provided to support Irish beef farmers who saw beef prices fall in light of market disturbance.

As the Deputy will be aware, one of the conditions under which the €50 million was granted by the EU was that there had to be an element of reduction or re-structuring built in to the scheme. Accordingly, in applying for BEAM, participants agreed to reduce the production of bovine livestock manure nitrogen on their holding by 5% for the period 1st July 2020 to 30th June 2021 as compared with the period 1st July 2018 to 30th June 2019.

Following engagement with the EU Commission regarding flexibility around the deadline for meeting the 5% reduction, I introduced an option on on 19th March 2021 to choose an alternative reduction period of 1st January 2021 - 31st December 2021. The option to select this facility remained open until midnight on 21st June 2021.

If a BEAM participant who opted to defer subsequently meets the 5% bovine Nitrates reduction within the original reduction period (1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021), the Department will write to these participants advising them that they are being removed from the deferment period (1 January 2021 - 31 December 2021) assuming they have met all the other requirements of the BEAM as set out in section 7 of the BEAM Terms and Conditions.