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Important State Aid approval for capital investment for the Irish food industry

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, today welcomes the announcement by the European Commission of state aid clearance for a major capital investment scheme for the food industry. “This approval, negotiated over the last two years by my Department officials, will provide opportunities for the food industry to make the significant investments required for product and market diversification. It represents a significant response by the Commission, working with Ireland to mitigate the effects of a significantly challenging external market environment (such as Brexit) for the industry.”

 

This approval will be of benefit to the primary dairy and meat processing industries, which are classified as ‘Annex 1’ products under EU legislation.

 

DAFM, together with colleagues in DBEI, have negotiated this approval with the European Commission over the last two years. The approval comes under the agriculture State Aid guidelines administered by DG Agri.

 

The detailed scheme of grant aid for food processing to implement this approval will be developed and administered by Enterprise Ireland. 

 

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Heather Humphreys, said: “Ireland’s reputation as a source of high-quality food and drink is among our most cherished national assets.  In a period of change and uncertainty with regards to the dynamics of global food supply, it has never been more important to highlight the long-standing principles of sustainability that underwrite our food production systems. 

 

This scheme is another important element of the suite of supports being developed by my department, in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and with my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and his department, to support enterprises impacted by Brexit.  This transformational scheme will allow companies engaged in the primary food processing sector to pursue product and market diversification and to create greater value add”.

 

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said “We welcome the announcement by the European Commission today which will provide some additional flexibility for food companies under state aid rules for capital investment. The scheme will support increased innovation and international competitiveness in the agriculture sector, and jobs in the regions, which will be particularly important in the context of Brexit”.

 

  

ENDS

Date Released: 04 February 2020