Agri-food projects across the country are to benefit from €70 million in national funding to help producers identify new markets and expand their offerings following Britain’s exit from the EU, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
22 projects in the dairy and meat sectors across the country are to receive funding from the Government’s Capital Investment Scheme for the Processing and Marketing of Agricultural Products.
Senator Cummins said, “Funding in Waterford has been allocated to Dawn Meats for projects at their two plants in Grannagh and Carroll’s Cross which will enable the company to carry out capital enhancements which will future proof the business and enable them to tap into new markets and attract more customers after a very challenging period due to Brexit.
“€4,031,805 in funding has been allocated by my colleague Tánaiste Leo Varadkar today which further demonstrates Fine Gael’s commitment to securing the economic future of rural Ireland.
“The agriculture sector is the lifeblood of many communities across Waterford. Nationally, we produce enough food to feed nine times our population and the sector employs almost 165,000 people across the country. We need to ensure the viability of these jobs long-term, and this investment of €70 million will go directly to food producers to help them develop and diversify.
“This investment is about gaining access to new markets in Asia and North America in particular, with a specific focus on moving up the value chain by increasing sales of higher value-add products.”
An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said, “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, but it is a challenge which everyone is committed to tackling head on. I acknowledge however that the sector will need support from government and this is something I am absolutely committed to ensuring is forthcoming. We must protect our rural communities and food producers in making the transition.