Thursday, 15 October 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
296. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans for the development of the wool industry in line with the programme for Government commitment; if he will consider supporting a scouring plant for wool, which is currently exported to the UK for this process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25986/20]
297. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to support the potential of the wool industry to develop projects and increase the return to farmers and create jobs in rural areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25987/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 296 and 297 together.
Wool production is an important component of agri-industry and Ireland produces excellent quality wool. In an industry such as the wool industry where prices tend to move in cycles, it is imperative that the players ensure and promote a diversity of options for the product in the market place. The current market uncertainties should provide an impetus for the industry players to come together to see what business opportunities are out there and try to promote the excellent product in as many markets as possible.
As set out in the Programme for Government, I propose a review of the potential demand in domestic and international markets for wool-based products such as insulation and fertilisers. I am very pleased to report that an amount of €100,000 has been allocated to this review and I will publish further details of the format of this review in the coming weeks. The viability of establishing a wool processing plant may also be included in that review.