ICSA pushes for ‘farmer-friendly’ suckler scheme

ICSA Suckler Chair Jimmy Cosgrave has called for a ‘farmer-friendly’ replacement scheme for BEEP to be announced without further delay.

Speaking this week, Mr Cosgrave said: “We have insisted that the scheme must cater for all suckler farmers including the majority who have not entered the SCEP scheme.

“We want a scheme that is not tied into five-year contracts, is not limited by quotas and which is not dependent on Quality Assurance Scheme membership. In short, we want a farmer-friendly suckler scheme”.

Mr Cosgrave said the scheme was promised in last year’s budget and it is well past time that it was delivered.

“Suckler numbers are dropping at an alarming rate. It must be remembered that suckler farming is vitally important to many rural areas, especially in the more disadvantaged regions,” he said.

“If we don’t support the suckler sector, we are just creating the condition for further dairy expansion”.