RHI Scheme and the sector it could have helped.

On Christmas Eve, the Irish News Political Correspondent, John Manley had an interesting story in the paper about the RHI scheme and the sectors that it could have helped.

He reports;

Deti’s delayed launch of the regional RHI in 2012 came not long after the Stormont-sponsored Agri-Food Strategy Board set out its plan to increase exports of beef, dairy, pork and poultry.

The plan was supported by then First Minister Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill and Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and at its heart was a call for “integrated supply chains” that forged closer links between primary producers and processors.

The RHI was particularly useful to poultry farmers – or ‘growers’ as they are known in the industry – because heating the huge sheds in which the chickens spent their short lives with biomass (wood chip pellets) ensured better quality meat and reduced the amounts of ammonia produced.

Link to the full story is here


  • On the fence!

    Only when the birds are at their youngest and in an especially cold spell, do the poultry houses need heated, the vast majority of the time they require ventilation. Not only that but existing houses would need underfloor heating installed to be able to utilise it properly and without a properly constructed scheme there would be no incentive to do this.

    If however you simply want to use “poultry house” as an excuse to burn a boiler 24/7 and rake in a pile of money, then I suppose the scheme they put in place was fine.

  • Oggins

    Was there any government bodies that took advantage of the scheme? Would the likes of leisure centres, council offices etc not benefit to a better heating scheme?

  • Nevin

    Farmers Show Interest in Moy Park’s Grower Expansion Programme – 31 July 2014

    If some of these new poultry units cost £1 million or more to construct just how financially exposed were the banks? Was there significant lobbying from that sector during these past few years?

  • Nevin

    “The UFU met with DETI in July 2015 and warned of an imminent spike in demand and in the following Spending Review in November, DETI were made aware of the imminent overspend. “A stepped closure would have avoided the over-spend which led to this panic decision to put an overnight brake on a scheme around which many farmers have built long term investment plans,” he said.” .. UFU – 10 Feb 2016

  • On the fence!

    In many cases Moy Park provide all or part of the finance for these projects themselves, they generally also provide an undertaking on price for the finished product as well. It’s a massive industry and one which arguably scarcely falls under the mantle of “agriculture” save for the fact that farmers generally have the land available for construction of the unit and security against the finance.

  • Dreary Steeple

    A timely article from John Manley ‘it helped ensure normally tight margins were ameliorated by a taxpayer funded subsidy……poultry farmers were able to top up their income significantly’. Poultry and pigs never received any CAP funding but the Assembly sure turned that on it’s head, the producer now has more profit from heating the chickens than he gets from Moy Park for feeding them. The fruits of this policy is a ruthless multinational corporation JBS S.A, the biggest meat processing company in the world will leave the producer with even tighter margins. The biggest part of their workforce is poorly paid Portuguese Eastern Timor people. My cousin who has feed chickens for nearly 20 years was happy with his returns until the Brazilians took over, then year on year his profit margins got tighter, the company was sucking as much profit as possible out of NI for overseas. Is it significant that around the same time as the spike in the autumn of 2015 that Moy Park announced a 20 million pound investment into the company to double up the kill capacity?. Was phone calls made when the funding was going to be pulled?. Why did Moy Park not want to comment on John Manley’s article?.