Funding through the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) in the amount of €210,000 has been announced for the mushroom sector.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has also confirmed that the €3 million Scheme of Investment Aid for the Seed Potato Sector is now open for applications.

The funding for the mushroom sector will go towards the promotion of Irish produce in the UK.

The Irish mushroom industry relies on the UK export market for 85% of its sales. Annually, 60,000t of mushrooms are exported to the UK, worth approximately €151 million (by 2021 figures).

The sector has been particularly impacted by Brexit, with reduced volumes and additional costs. This has reduced the competiveness and attractiveness of Irish mushrooms in the UK marketplace, the department said.

The BAR funding is aimed at a sectoral promotional campaign that seeks to “ensure that UK consumers are dynamically reminded of the nutritional and taste benefits of cooking with mushrooms”.

The campaign is promoted by Bord Bia, and will include TV ads in July, social media activity from July to December and outdoor promotion in October.

Mushroom consumption tends to dip through the summer months as mushrooms are seen as a winter staple in Europe.

Speaking today (Friday, June 3), Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue said: “I’m delighted to have secured funding to support this vital promotional campaign to sustain Ireland’s mushroom footprint in the marketplace throughout these critical months.

“The mushroom sector is a really important one for our overall agri-food sector and it is crucial that we support it in any way we can,” he added.

Minister McConalogue’s comments were echoed by Minister of State for land use and biodiversity Pippa Hackett, who noted: “These are challenging times for the wider horticulture industry and the mushroom sector in particular has been severely impacted by Brexit, given its reliance on the UK export market.

“This promotional campaign will help to ensure that consumer appetite and demand remain strong in the UK for Irish mushrooms, which are a versatile source of sustainable nutrition.”

The scheme for the seed potato sector, meanwhile, is now open for applications.

Under this scheme, capital grant aid at a rate of 40% is available for all approved investments, with qualifying young farmers receiving up to 60% grand aid.

The closing date for receipt of applications for the scheme is Friday, July 1.

Commenting on the opening of this scheme. Minister McConalogue said: “There is great potential in reviving the domestic seed potato sector.

“I am committed to seeing it thrive once more, once there is leadership from within the sector. I believe we can restore the industry to its heyday nationally,” the minister added.