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Minister Coughlan announces the awarding of 114m euro Grant Aid for the Dairy Processing Sector under the Dairy Investment Fund

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan TD, today announced details of 19 capital investment projects, which have been awarded Government grant assistance of over €114 million under the Dairy Investment Fund and which will generate an estimated capital spend of €286 million in the Irish dairy sector. This is a key element of her plan for the Agri Food sector as set out in the AgriVision 2015 Action Plan.

The Minister stated that she was very pleased to announce the details of the grants today and she was certain that the provision of over €114 million of Government grant assistance would stimulate the necessary investment in the sector to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the dairy industry in Ireland.

The purpose of the Fund is to increase the efficiency of the main dairy outputs by supporting the upgrading of existing plant and buildings to capture new business and/or develop new added value products. It will support the provision of new modern plants to replace smaller, inadequately equipped facilities. Furthermore, it will support product specialisation, involving some companies building on their market position and developing the technological know-how to increase added value.

Each application for the Dairy Investment Fund has been carefully considered and all eligible projects were assessed and evaluated according to strict commercial and technical criteria by an expert committee comprising members from Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Agriculture and Food, Bord Bia, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, private industry and an academic expert.

The Minister stated that she expected the Dairy Investment Fund to deliver on two main areas, the most significant of which will be increasing the production of added value products. The second major impact will be in the delivery of cost efficiency programmes. Minister Coughlan was confident that on the basis of the quality of the projects approved, the Fund had stimulated the necessary investment from the sector and in time will yield strong returns for the industry and the economy generally.

The Minister, announcing the details of the individual grants awarded, congratulated the companies that have been successful in their application to the highly competitive Dairy Investment Fund.

She thanked Enterprise Ireland for their effective management of the Fund on her behalf. She also thanked the dairy companies who, she stated, had already significantly contributed to the Irish dairy industry and to national development. She acknowledged the considerable financial investment required from the individual companies in addition to the grant aid provided by the State.

She expressed her satisfaction that the combined innovation and investment from the Irish dairy industry and the State will achieve her objective for the Dairy Industry Fund in the development of a modern, competitive, market focussed and highly efficient food sector in Ireland, as envisaged in the AgriVision 2015 Action Plan.

Details of projects in alphabetical order (doc 74Kb) 

18 April 2007

Date Released: 18 April 2007