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‘BAR Funds Must Be Used for Farmers, Not Returned to Brussels’

The government must take all necessary steps to ensure all Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) funds are used and not returned to Brussels, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

The comments from IFA president Tim Cullinan come as the deadline for the allocation of funding under the measure is fast approaching.

The BAR fund was created by the EU to support all member states to manage the impacts of Brexit.

Ireland, as the member state most affected, received the biggest allocation at a value of €1.165 billion.

The funding can be allocated to projects across a range of sectors, including agriculture, fisheries and enterprise.


All BAR funding must be spent by the end of 2023, with any unspent funds being returned.

“To date, the government has failed to put in any level of significant funding from BAR into Irish agriculture. We estimate only 5% of total funding has been allocated to farmers.

“This is very difficult to understand, as agriculture is, by a distance, the sector most heavily exposed to Brexit,” Cullinan said.

The IFA president said the full implications of Brexit are only now “coming into play”.

The association estimates that the Australian and New Zealand trade deals with the UK have the capacity to displace up to €300 million of Irish beef exports to the UK in 2024, while almost €75 million of lamb exports are at risk.

“These figures will continue to grow as Australia and New Zealand’s tariff-free quotas increase in the coming years,” Cullinan said.

He added beef and sheep farmers have faced further price cuts this week, which is compounding the income challenges on farms.

“Losses from the market for the first half of the year alone have reached over €100 million on beef farms and over €10 million on sheep farms. This is not sustainable in these vulnerable sectors and must be addressed by direct supports to suckler, beef and sheep farmers.

“It is imperative that Irish agriculture gets its fair share of BAR funding so these critical indigenous sectors are supported.

“We need to see more funding allocated to farming as a priority to ensure these funds do not return to Europe unused,” Cullinan said.

Source: Agriland