Des Morrison Enniscrone farmer and Chairperson of ICMSA Livestock Committee

ICMSA critical of Dairy Calf Beef CAP allocation – “ Half-hearted support for a better economics and lower emissions solution”


 The proposed allocation of €25m over five years for a Dairy Calf Scheme announced under the CAP Strategic Plan is hugely disappointing and represents half-hearted support for a better economics and lower emissions solution, according to Des Morrison, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee.

Noting that all the initial calls for a well-structured dairy calf scheme had come from his association, Mr. Morrison said that “having seemed to accept the logic and merits of the ICMSA proposal, it is incredibly disappointing that the CAP Strategic Plan put forward by the Government contains such an underpowered and underfunded model of this option.”

Mr. Morrison pointed out that all parties to the debate accepted the need for greater integration of out dairy and beef sectors and simple logic demanded that to proceed on the basis of the highest commercial returns and the lowest emissions. Both of those demands were met on the ICMSA Dairy Calf Beef model. The arguments in its favour were irrefutable and the Department had seemed to accept them when setting up a pilot scheme that was over-subscribed – as ICMSA had predicted.

“To be honest, it’s very difficult to work out the logic or thinking behind this hopeless allocation. Compared to other Plan allocations, €5m per year for a Dairy Calf Scheme is derisory. Given that over 50% of Irish beef production comes from the dairy herd, the Government should have been much more ambitious and the level of funding is in sharp contrast to the €256m allocated to the Organics sector for example. This would have delivered on emissions at the same time as delivering better returns for beef farmers. It’s a very curious and, let us be honest, backwards step on both commercial and environmental grounds,” said Mr. Morrison.


Mr. Morrison observed that the EU Commission specifically mentioned dairy beef production in its pre-assessment of Ireland’s priorities under the CAP Strategic Plan “and they were right. This was and is an obvious, logical and popular option for us to pursue. But instead we are going to pass over this and sink hundreds of millions into schemes that are more aspiration than realisation. It’s already obvious that the Government will needs to review its level of funding set out in the CAP Strategic Plan and come back with a scheme that reflects the numbers that want to go with this option and the gains – both economic and environmental – to be made,” concluded Mr. Morrison.

Ends     21 October 2021

Des Morrison, 087-2263331

Chairperson, ICMSA Livestock Committee


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office