By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Coughlan announces major Capital Investment Programme for Beef and Sheepmeat Processing Sectors

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan TD, today announced a beef and sheepmeat processing sector investment package amounting to €50 million. This Government grant assistance, which should trigger €120 million investment, is designed to underpin the realisation of her vision for the future of the beef and sheepmeat processing industries in Ireland and is consistent with the Government's Agri-Vision 2015 Action Plan.

Announcing the package, Minister Coughlan said: "Beef and sheepmeat are a vital component of the agri-food industry with beef exports alone amounting to almost one-fifth of total Irish food and drink exports in 2005. This investment package, I am certain, will ensure the strategic and coherent development of the sectors into the future, and in so doing, not only strengthen primary processing but also underpin agricultural incomes. It is also complimentary to specific incentives at producer level, such as the Suckler Cow Herd Welfare and Quality Scheme I announced yesterday."

The financial assistance should trigger some €120 million in gross capital investment in the processing of beef and sheepmeat. Support, reflecting the needs of each investment, will be made available towards the cost of the construction and acquisition of buildings, new machinery and equipment, and associated costs.

"The level of State support, some €50 million" the Minister continued, "is a clear indication of the Government's confidence in the sectors and a significant contribution to working with the industry in improving structure, scale, efficiency and competitiveness. The beef and sheep meat sectors have responded positively, over recent years, to challenging changes and progress across the agri-food industry by increasing penetration of high value markets, through effective promotion and marketing and the delivery of high quality and competitively priced product."

Minister Coughlan, in addition, referred to the recognised need to engage with the processing sectors in adapting positively and efficiently to evolving market demands and standards.

"The proposed and necessary injection of capital, with direct support from the Government, will contribute to repositioning the sectors and in so doing realising the Government's commitment to the further development of a modern, competitive, innovative and market focussed food sector in Ireland."

The Minister said Enterprise Ireland will manage the scheme and evaluate the suitability of investment projects submitted for grant assistance. Specific details, relating to the scheme, will be announced shortly.

8 November 2006

Date Released: 08 November 2006