Written answers

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Agriculture Schemes

Photo of Matt CarthyMatt Carthy (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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470. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of agricultural appeals in each year from 2016 to date; the details of these appeals; if the appeals were successful in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38535/21]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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The Agriculture Appeals Office was established in 2002 pursuant to the Agriculture Appeals Act 2001, Schedule 1 to the Act includes a list of schemes administered by the Department.The Agriculture Appeals Office operates independently of my Department.

Farmers who are dissatisfied with decisions of the Department concerning their entitlement under the schemes listed in Schedule 1 of the Act may submit an appeal to the Agriculture Appeals Office.

I have been advised that the records of the Agriculture Appeals Office indicate the following:

Year No of Appeals received No of Appeals Closed No of Appeals Allowed / Partially Allowed / Revised by the Department
2016 598 615 253
2017 638 707 261
2018 556 520 202
2019 570 491 214
2020 760 358 139

The appeals closed figure for each year includes appeals that were received in the previous years. Attached is a more detailed breakdown of appeals received per year for each scheme and figures for appeals allowed and partially allowed by Appeals Officers, as well as those revised by the Department for each year from 2016 to 2020.

Revised by the Department includes cases where the Department has revised its original decision in favour of the appellant prior to completion of the appeals process, reasons may include additional information provided by the appellant to the Agriculture Appeals Office, information provided at oral hearings and/or as a result of specific queries raised by the Appeals Office.

Photo of Matt CarthyMatt Carthy (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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471. To ask 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]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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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 Agfood.ie 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.

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