The Government’s €70m Capital Investment Scheme for the Processing and Marketing of Agricultural Products will help farmers and food producers to diversify their offering, to attract new markets and customers, making their business more resilient and sustainable into the long-term post Brexit. The fund will be administered by Enterprise Ireland.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, have announced that 22 projects in the meat and dairy sectors across the country will receive funding to enable them to develop and diversify, following Britain’s exit from the European Union.
The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said, “this is a major investment in our agri-food industry which is the lifeblood of rural Ireland. It’s all about helping the industry to develop and diversify by moving up the value chain and gaining access to new markets including Asia and North America. It will benefit farmers and the wider industry. I’m extremely proud of the fact that we produce enough food to feed nine times our population. Our agriculture sector employs nearly 165,000 people here. We want to make sure these jobs are secure into the long-term.”
“This €70m funding will go directly to food producers and processors in the meat and dairy sectors to help them diversify and win new customers post-Brexit. It will also help them prepare for a low carbon future, given our commitments on climate. The 22 successful projects are all over the country. Brexit caused huge uncertainty for the sector and is a warning of the dangers of becoming over-reliant on a certain market. Similarly the need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining production levels is another challenge facing our food producers. We need to take action now that embraces new technology, creates new jobs and new business opportunities, protects rural communities and tries to avoid driving up the cost of living. This Fund aims to help food producers make the transition.”
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue said, “this government is committed to supporting our agri-food sector and ensuring that Ireland’s reputation for high-quality, safe, and sustainable food production is maintained and enhanced. New product development and market diversification go hand-in-hand. The €70m investment we are announcing today will assist the sector, expand current markets and increase sales of higher value-add products in the global marketplace maintaining our position as the sustainable food capital of the world.”
“As global markets recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, I will be working closely with my colleague, Minister of State Martin Heydon TD, who has specific responsibility for new market development, to ensure that Irish food exporters can take advantage of the opportunities in key international markets. The key to these strategic investments is bringing benefits for all those along the supply chain, particularly farmers as the critical primary producer who are the bedrock of €14bn export sector.”
Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said, “the €70m funding under the Capital Investment Scheme for the Processing and Marketing of Agricultural Products is supporting 22 strategic projects in making investments of over €266m across regional and rural Ireland. Our agri-food sector has to increasingly focus on sustainability, competitiveness and innovation to grow existing and new markets and the funding announced today will help achieve these important goals.”