Dairy Industry Ireland (DII) has reacted positively to the Government’s calls this morning to a Brexit scheme for the agri-food sector.
The Industry said that the new capital investment scheme was “very timely” - coming after Brexit and in advance of the new climate change bill - “and will help continue to drive the ongoing step change in investment in the industry as it looks to further diversify and drive up the value chain for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
“Irish dairy’s diversification strategy has been developing at pace; this has accelerated since the 2016 Brexit referendum with investments very focused on international cheeses and specialised nutrition,” added Director DII, Conor Mulvihill.
“This scheme will continue to help us mitigate the worst effects of Brexit while looking to the future, and further underpin the globally competitive nature of the Irish dairy and specialised nutrition industry.
“It will also create opportunities to drive value add for our primary producers as we need to have world class manufacturing facilities to be competitive internationally.
“The recently completed Carbery mozzarella plant in west Cork has served as a highly successful pilot for the program.” Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, meanwhile, pointed to the scheme’s establishment and how it recognises the sector’s unique exposure to the impact of Brexit.
“Up to €70m is available under the first call, which is being administered by Enterprise Ireland,” he added.
“It is open to large, medium or small enterprises, engaged in the processing and marketing of primary meat and dairy products to apply.
“Sustainability, competitiveness and innovation are vital so that our agri-food sector continues to grow existing and new markets - that often requires significant capital outlay and this new fund is designed to ensure that the food industry can invest now in projects that will underpin its sustainable development over the next decade.
“The projects that will qualify for funding are focused on the future, supporting either new products and/or new market diversification strategies.
“I hope that the Government’s support for these strategic investments will bring benefits for all those along the supply chain, particularly farmers as the primary producer of our food offering.”