The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, have today (Tuesday, November 9) announced funding of €70 million for many of the country’s meat and dairy processors.

The funding will go towards 22 projects (listed below) in the meat and dairy sectors, to enable them to develop and diversify, following Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU).

The government’s €70 million ‘Capital Investment Scheme for the Processing and Marketing of Agricultural Products’ is aimed at helping farmers and those working in food production to diversify their offering, to attract new markets and customers, making their business more resilient and sustainable long term.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: “This is a major investment in our agri-food industry which is the lifeblood of rural Ireland.

“It’s all about helping the industry to develop and diversify by moving up the value chain and gaining access to new markets including Asia and North America. It will benefit farmers and the wider industry.

“I’m extremely proud of the fact that we produce enough food to feed nine times our population. Our agriculture sector employs nearly 165,000 people here. We want to make sure these jobs are secure into the long term,” Varadkar said.

The Tánaiste added that the funding will go directly to food producers and processors in the meat and dairy sectors to help them diversify and win new customers post-Brexit.

It will also help them prepare for a low-carbon future, in line with Ireland’s commitments on climate.

“Brexit caused huge uncertainty for the sector and is a warning of the dangers of becoming over-reliant on a certain market,” the minister continued.

“Similarly, the need to reduce our greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions while maintaining production levels, is another challenge facing our food producers.

“We need to take action now that embraces new technology, creates new jobs and new business opportunities, protects rural communities and tries to avoid driving up the cost of living,” Varadkar added.

New product development for meat and dairy processors

Minister McConalogue added: “This government is committed to supporting our agri-food sector and ensuring that Ireland’s reputation for high-quality, safe and sustainable food production is maintained and enhanced. 

“New product development and market diversification go hand-in-hand. The €70 million investment we are announcing today will assist the sector, expand current markets and increase sales of higher value-add products in the global marketplace, maintaining our position as the sustainable food capital of the world. 

“The key to these strategic investments is bringing benefits for all those along the supply chain, particularly farmers as the critical primary producer who are the bedrock of the €14 billion export sector,” Minister McConalogue added.

Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said: “Today’s €70 million funding is supporting 22 strategic projects in making investments of over €266 million across regional and rural Ireland.

“Our agri-food sector has to increasingly focus on sustainability, competitiveness and innovation to grow existing and new markets, and the funding announced today will help achieve these important goals.”

Here is how the funding will be allocated to co-ops and processors:

CompanyLocationProject description € Funding allocated
Dairygold Co-Operative Society Ltd.Mallow, Co. CorkCapital investment to support product and market diversification4,743,680
Dawn Meats IrelandBallyhaunis, Co. Mayo & Kilbeggan, Co. WestmeathCapital enhancement to facilities1,601,700
Dawn Meats IrelandCharleville, Co. Cork & Rathdowney, Co. LaoisCapital enhancement to facilities4,366,495
Dawn Meats IrelandGrannagh & Carroll’s Cross, Kilmacthomas, Co. WaterfordCapital enhancement to facilities4,031,805
Glanbia IrelandBallyragget, Co. KilkennyCapital investment to support market diversification2,700,000
Glanbia IrelandBallyragget, Co. KilkennyCapital investment to support diversification of product base1,404,250
Slaney FoodsBunclody, Co. WexfordCapital investment to support market diversification1,988,519
Tipperary Co-Operative CreameryTipperary TownIngredients processing system596,377
KepakWatergrasshill, Co. CorkCapital investment to support market diversification3,119,188
KepakBallybay, Co. MonaghanCapital investment to support market diversification916,919
KepakKilbeggan, Co. WestmeathCapital investment to support market diversification1,967,929
McCarren MeatsDrumavanagh, Co. CavanCapital investment to support market diversification3,995,964
GleniskTullamore, Co. OffalyDecarbonisation strategy491,310
Silver Hill FoodsEmyvale, Co. MonaghanCapital investment to support market diversification5,000,000
Henry Denny & SonsCharleville, Co. CorkCapital investment to support market diversification5,000,000
Donegal Meat ProcessorsCarrigans, Co. DonegalCapital investment to support market diversification2,422,690
Liffey MeatsBallyjamesduff, Co. CavanCapital investment to support market diversification4,980,000
T O’Regan & SonsClonakilty, Co. CorkCapital investment to support market diversification5,000,000
Kerrygold Butter PackingMitchelstown, Co. CorkCapital investment to support market diversification4,972,208
Bandon Vale CheeseBandon, Co. CorkCapital investment in facility5,000,000
Moyvalley MeatsBroadford, Co. KildareCapital investment to support product and market diversification749,416
Dawn Farm FoodsNaas, Co. KildareCapital investment to support product and market diversification4,951,550