Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, was speaking today (Tuesday, June 12) at a Food Gateway event in Teagasc Ashtown entitled ‘Beyond Brexit – making food innovation go further’.

Minister Creed said that he hoped that the Prepared Consumer Foods (PCF) Centre, located in Ashtown, will be operational by this September.

“I secured the agreement of Government in Budget 2018, as part of our Brexit response – to invest €5 million in equipment, technologies and innovation to assist in the development of the PCF sector.

“This funding is being used for the purchase of Prepared Consumer Food research equipment based in Teagasc Ashtown, which PCF companies can trial in collaboration with Teagasc and other research providers,” Minister Creed said.

Minister Creed highlighted the importance of innovation in the Irish food industry as a key response to Brexit.

The minister said: “The role of research and innovation is critical to ensure that our food industry can address the challenges we face.

“While the agri-food sector has achieved remarkable and sustainable growth over recent years, we still face significant challenges – particularly in relation to environmental sustainability and, of course, the threat posed by Brexit.”

Minister Creed also spoke about how the consumer and environmental factors need to be further examined to identify innovative new ways to respond to these demands.