03 Feb 2021 | 01.28 pm
Massive Taxpayer Funding For Meat, Dairy Producers
Competitive call opens on February 9
03 Feb 2021 | 01.28 pm
The agri-food industry is to get a Brexit boost, with first calls now invited for the government’s €100m scheme for the sector.
Up to €70m is available under the first call, administered by Enterprise Ireland. It is open to large, medium or small enterprises engaged in the processing and marketing of primary meat and dairy products.
The process kicks off with a week of consultation and briefing via EI’s website, with a webinar for applicants on Tuesday February 9. Applications can be submitted from the following day and the closing date is Thursday 15 April.
Successful projects will be focused on the production of new and/or improved higher value-added products, and/or production processes, required for new markets, and will not be focused principally on processing 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 must have total eligible capital expenditure of at least €1m, up to a maximum of €25m. The maximum aid intensity will be up to 30% of the eligible investment costs, with a direct grant cap of €5m.
EU State Aid approval for the scheme limits eligibility to enterprises engaged in the processing and marketing of ‘Annex 1’ agricultural products only i.e. meat and dairy, so vegetable and crop producers need not apply.
Enterprise minister Leo Varadkar (pictured) stated: “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.”
Agriculture minister Charlie McConalogue added: “This 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. We have a particular focus in 2021 to advance market access for Irish food exports to key international markets.”
He added that 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.
Meat and dairy producers receive massive taxpayer-funded state aid every year channelled through Enterprise Ireland.
Major grant funding announcements through 2020 have included Arrabawn Co-op Society (€2.3 million), Dawn Meats (€750,000), Glanbia Cheese (€7.4 million), Carbery (€5.8 million) and Kerry Group (€3.3 million).