Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Department of Agriculture and Food
Question 343: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the amount that has been drawn down of the â¬9.5 million that was made available as part of budget 2010 for the agri-food industry; the way it was spent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46332/10]
An amount of â¬2.5 million has been drawn down to date by Bord Bia and has been used in a variety of marketing initiatives aimed at assisting the food industry broaden its export reach including Marketplace 2010 involving more than 150 companies and 400 buyers, Marketing Fellowship initiatives in which highly qualified and experienced graduates work with food and drink companies graduates, market promotion and research initiatives.
In addition, some â¬2.5 million has been expended by Enterprise Ireland on lean manufacturing, company management development programmes to enhance leadership capabilities and innovation initiatives. Over 30 Food and Manufacturing companies have completed projects under the different levels of the lean manufacturing initiative. Following a call for proposals in early summer, 145 Innovation Vouchers were awarded to food companies by Enterprise Ireland. These vouchers offer small companies â¬5,000 to obtain an innovative solution to a technical or business challenge from a Higher Education Institute in Ireland or Northern Ireland, known as 'knowledge providers'.
A number of projects underway will for timing reasons now mature for payment in 2011.