The Ulster Farmers’ Union is reminding eligible dairy farmers not to miss the 31st May deadline to apply for the EU Exceptional Adjustment Aid (EAA) package but has expressed concern that some farmers may have had their expectations raised following the circulation of unconfirmed figures.
UFU president Barclay Bell says that while the funding is welcome the Union believes that DAERA could have delivered wider benefits across the industry if it had chosen to consult with the UFU and other stakeholders.
“The decision was made to avoid funding being lost. We understand that but believe it was a missed opportunity of DAERA’s part. However, the decision has been taken and we must move forward. I would encourage any dairy farmer that is eligible to ensure they get their application in by 31st May.”
The UFU president also expressed his dismay at the circulation of unconfirmed figures in relation to the total under-spend of the EAA and how much would be paid to each eligible farmer.
“Sadly, some individuals are ‘jumping the gun’ and spreading unconfirmed figures. DAERA has said they have £1.5 million unspent but until all the applications are processed, any figure for a final rate of payment to farmers is speculation.
“We don’t want to see farmers disappointed and would encourage them to be mindful of this when they are making an application,” said Mr Bell.