Now that the UK has embarked upon sundering its affiliation to the EU, there is an opportunity to enjoy “a brief respite from instability” in which to make the arrangements for the new trade agreements between the former partners and also push ahead to decide on the provisions of the new Common Agricultural Policy, the President of the ICSA, Edmond Phelan, said.
This situation must now result in immediate increases in the price of beef to the suppliers because “factories will have nowhere to hide in 2020 in citing instability which was repeatedly used as a reason for low beef prices over the last three years. There will be less reason for cold storage facilities to be packed out; sterling is likely to be more stable in the short-term and, separate from all of this, is the fact that beef price in North and South America is likely to remain strong in 2020.”
It remains essential that a new trade deal is fully in place by December next, although this is a “highly challenging target”. Both sides will be working hard in order to deliver an outcome that ensures continuing tariff-free trade though.
IFA Rural Development Chairman Michael Biggins has said that the EU Commission has indicated that Member States can reopen their agri–environmental schemes in line with transitional rules, which will be agreed shortly to extend the current CAP for up to two years.
At a meeting in Brussels of the Rural Development Civil Dialogue Group, which IFA is a member of and which was addressed by EU Commission officials, Michael Biggins said that it was very clear that Member States could extend existing contracts by one or two years (in the transition period).
This is relevant to the 36,000 farmers who will conclude their GLAS contracts at the end of 2020 and the extra 12,000 farmers who will finish at the end of 2021.