The Government has announced a €100m capital investment programme for the food processing sector in recognition of unique exposure to the impact of Brexit.
The scheme was launched by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar T.D. and the Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine Charlie Mc Conalogue T.D. in recent days.
Invest in new technology and new products
The new capital investment scheme for the processing and marketing of agricultural products will be managed by Enterprise Ireland. It will open for applications in January 2021.
The Tánaiste Leo 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.”
Advance market access for Irish food exports
Minister Charlie 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 €100m 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.”
Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said:
“The food sector is the largest sector of Irish enterprise and critical to regional employment and prosperity.”
“This fund will allow the primary food processing sector to make the necessary capital expenditure to increase their global diversification in response to Brexit.”
Who is eligible for the €100m food processing scheme?
The scheme will be administered by Enterprise Ireland and will take the form of a competitive call. 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. All investments under the scheme will comply with national and EU legislative and regulatory environmental requirements and standards.
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% of the eligible investment costs, up to a maximum direct grant of €5 million.