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'Small Food Companies will always be important to the Irish Economy' Minister of State McEntee

Information day on funding and support for Monaghan food sector

Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine today addressed a Workshop on Funding and Support for Monaghan food sector and related companies as part of an Information Day organised by Monaghan County Council.

Speaking at the event Minister McEntee said that "this Information Day is a valuable opportunity for food companies, both large and small, to listen to what the Government support agencies have to offer. The Information Day reflects the continuing importance of agriculture and food production to the Irish economy at both regional and national level, and particularly in terms of employment created in the sector". The Minister highlighted that the projected increased global demand, not only for food, but for higher 'value added' food provides a real opportunity for Ireland to position itself to significantly increase food exports due to our advantages of quality grassland, moderate climate, the quality of our farmers, the commitment to enterprise and the ongoing investment in innovation of our food companies.

Highlighting the key role of smaller Irish food companies, the Minister said, "In particular, the presence of small food companies will always be important to the Irish economy with Bord Bia estimating that small business producers hold a 3% value of the Irish home food, grocery and foodservice market (total value of €14.5bn in 2008)". Each of the State agencies can provide detailed and specialised information to different types of company. Bord Bia, Teagasc, Enterprise Ireland and agencies at county level are all working towards a common goal of helping companies to develop, expand and create further employment opportunities".

Notes for Editor

The one-day seminar, as part of The Taste of Monaghan Festival 2011, was organised by Monaghan County Council through the County Development Board. The aim of the seminar was to provide companies operating in the Monaghan food sector with an overall view and information on the supports and funding available to help them sustain and grow their enterprises.  Participants were also able to meet and discuss their individual needs and requirements with the agency staff on the day.

Date Released: 05 October 2011