Dáil debates

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Food Industry

9:32 am

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

Deputy Cowen mentioned that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine should have a role as well as the local authorities in assisting in every way. I am quite sure there will be absolute determination in all Departments, including that my Department and Enterprise Ireland will assist.

On Deputy Stanley's comments, as I mentioned earlier, it is hoped there will be no job losses as a result of this occurrence but there may be some short- or medium-term issues to be dealt with. The employment services and State agencies, including Intreo, will give top priority as soon as necessary.

Glenisk has been to the forefront in sustainable reduction, green energy and carbon offsetting and assisted by various supports from Enterprise Ireland over the past decade. It has won many awards for its environmental efforts and activities, including for recycling and heat recovery. As part of the Origin Green programme, Glenisk has also implemented a mandatory emissions reduction target throughout its supply chain, not just in its own plant. That includes right down to farm level and we mentioned the milk suppliers earlier.

I understand that the key priority for the company and the family in the past few days has been to get the milk processing unit back up and running, so that the organic cow’s milk and organic goat’s milk can be packaged and back on the shop shelves as soon as possible. However, the yoghurt processing plant will involve a more difficult process to get up and running, because they have to talk to the suppliers of the machinery and their materials suppliers. There is, therefore, a possibility that some of it can move immediately to the supermarket and the shop shelves. However, the yoghurt processing plant is the difficult part of the process. At least the milk will continue to be collected. It may have to be processed temporarily somewhere else in the short term. However, I assure the Deputies that I will continue to work with all stakeholders to examine any potential future appropriate assistance. They should keep in contact directly with the Office of the Taoiseach to make sure every arm of the State provides all necessary support.


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