Second beet meeting with growers this Thursday

Beet Ireland will host its second meeting with potential growers this week in conjunction with The Irish Grain Growers’ Group (IGGG)  this Thursday, November 15 at 7:00pm in The Talbot Hotel Carlow.

The meeting is open to all and attendees do not have to be members of the IGGG.

The meeting follows on from the first in the series which was hosted by the Irish Tillage and Land Use Society last week where approximately 50 interested parties attended.

At that meeting Beet Ireland explained that it is looking for 1,000 growers to invest €1,000 in a subscription to a growers co-op. The €1 million would then be matched by Beet Ireland in the form of the site for the beet plant.

Investment

That €2 million will be used in the planning process and growers would then be asked to invest another sum of money – the amount would be dependent on other funding that is secured.

If secured those 1,000 growers will need to produce 1.4 million tonnes of beet per year. This equates to approximately 50,000ac or 50ac per grower.

210,000t of sugar and 19 million litres of bio-ethanol would be expected to be produced from this amount of beet.

Speaking to AgriLand, Chris Harmon – a director of Beet Ireland – said: “We believe that we can build the most efficient sugar plant in Europe.

“The plan is that by the end of this year, we will have conducted our grower engagement and hopefully there will be enough engagement and commitment from growers to take the project to the next stage.

Central to the business model of Beet Ireland was always the beet grower. We realise that this is a single raw material industry and you need growers to grow the beet.

Chris added: “The best way to get real commitment from anybody is for them to put money on the table.

“Beet Ireland has put a lot of money on the table in acquiring a site, just up the road here in Ballyburn. We’ve made our commitment and we are very committed to delivering this industry.

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“We believe there is a huge opportunity for the tillage sector in Ireland to get behind this project and really it is about financial commitment.

“I know €1,000 is a lot of money, but, in the context of where we’re going, it’s a very small commitment.”