Calls for EU’s €5 billion Brexit fund to prioritise Irish food and drink firms

A body representing the food and drink sector in Ireland has called for Irish agri-food businesses to be prioritised by a €5 billion Brexit Adjustment Reserve included in the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) agreed today, Tuesday, July 21.

According to Food Drink Ireland (FDI), more than a third (34%) of Irish agri-food and drink exports go to the UK each year.

A spokesperson for the FDI said: “Typically, less than 10% of other member states’ food and drink exports are to the UK. This highlights the unique circumstances faced by Irish industry and the need for these exceptional aid measures.

Ireland needs to maintain its market position in this high-value, high-quality market that has a substantial food deficit and not relinquish it to global competitors.

“The aid should be targeted at supporting Irish companies to invest in enabling technology; management training and upskilling; plant renewal and expansion; refinancing; and market development and innovation in order to regain competitiveness following Brexit.

“This aid should also be used to introduce additional marketing and innovation supports for companies looking to reformulate, repackage or innovate their product lines for new markets in the EU and internationally,” the spokesperson concluded.

CAP budget ‘agreed’

As was reported by AgriLand earlier today, the EU has signed off on a €1.8 trillion budget and Covid-19 recovery package – after four days of negotiations.

The budget for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the next seven years is included within the package, with an upper limit figure of €356.3 billion (and what the council refers to as ‘2018 prices’) under the heading of ‘Natural Resources and Environment’.

Also Read: CAP budget ‘agreed’ for the next 7 years

While retaining Pillar I and Pillar II sub-headings (for CAP), a new delivery model brings both pillars under a single programming instrument – namely the CAP Strategic Plan.

The document states that direct payments, under the CAP Strategic Plan Regulation, will “not exceed €239.9 billion”.

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