Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Food Industry

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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459. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the extent to which food processing can be facilitated in a way to reduce reliance on imports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17290/22]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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Both Food Vision 2030 and the Programme for Government set out a series of goals and initiatives to explore and encourage domestic market opportunities, and to support producers in finding routes to market for their produce.

Specific current supports include the LEADER Food Initiative, funded by my Department and implemented and managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development, which supports the development of food and drink businesses throughout rural Ireland. The funding covers the purchasing of processing equipment as well as the renovation and extension of production facilities and supports participants in the artisan food and beverage sector in areas such as market development, competitiveness, and innovation.

Teagasc and other research institutions are developing innovation and pilot processing centres. For example, my Department has provided funding to establish the Prepared Consumer Food (PCF) Centre in Ashtown, which provides an important service to the Prepared Consumer Food sector through specialist expertise, state of the art facilities and innovative research by Teagasc and industry partners. The PCF Centre enables researchers and industry to collaborate in private and public research projects in the prepared consumer foods arena and to pilot and develop food products for placing on both the domestic and export market.

As well as leading the marketing and promotion of Irish food and drink in our export markets, Bord Bia has an important role in promoting quality assured food and drink on the domestic market, through targeted marketing and communications campaigns, while respecting EU state aid rules.

I am satisfied that the measures in place and the commitments in both the Programme for Government and Food Vision 2030 will provide a sound basis for the future development of the agri-food sector in Ireland, including further developing the domestic market.


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