Government announce €100m Brexit support package for agri-food sector

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The Government has announced a €100 million support package for the agri-food sector to deal with the impact of Brexit.

The new Capital Investment Scheme for the Processing and Marketing of Agricultural Products will be managed by Enterprise Ireland and will open for applications in January.

It is open to large, medium or small enterprises, engaged in the processing and marketing of primary meat and dairy products to apply.

Successful projects will be focused on the production of new and/or improved higher value add products, and/or production processes, required for new markets, and not principally focused on the processing of increased volumes of raw materials.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that the investment underpins sustainable food production, at both farm and processor level, and contribute to balanced, sustainable regional development.

Eligible projects

Eligible projects must have total eligible capital expenditure of at least €1 million, up to a maximum of €25 million. The maximum aid intensity will be up to 30 per cent of the eligible investment costs, up to a maximum direct grant of €5 million.

The scheme was announced by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar and Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

Mr Varadkar said: “We know that Ireland’s agri-food sector is particularly exposed to the negative impact of Brexit. More than 173,000 people work in the agri-food industry here. Not only do we want to protect those existing jobs as we weather the Brexit storm, but we also want to grow them. This funding is to allow businesses invest in new technology and new products, making the sector stronger and more resilient.

“I know it’s a really worrying time for those working in our agri-food sector. The Government is here to help. This Scheme is on top of the existing grants, low cost loans and training resources that are available.”

High-quality food

Mr McConalogue said: “Our agri-food sector is the largest indigenous sector in Ireland with export value of €14.5 billion last year. The success of our sector is built on growing and developing new markets and market segments for the high-quality food our farmers, fishers and food producers make. In the context of Brexit, the need for productive investment in the food processing sector has taken on added significance.

“This €100 million support scheme will assist our food processors to diversify their product ranges and markets in order to best support their export activity and our country’s primary producers.

“Working with my colleague, Minister-of-State Martin Heydon TD, who has specific responsibility for new market development, we have a particular focus in 2021 to advance market access for Irish food exports to key international markets, in collaboration with Bord Bia and our Embassy network.”

 

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