Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has welcomed the opening of the €100 million capital investment programme for primary food processing.
Reacting to the programme, which was announced by the government this morning (Wednesday, February 3), the Ibec representative group said the move is an “important step” in the response to the new trading environment post-Brexit.
It is also key in “building the resilience and competitiveness” of the meat processing and export business as it seeks to break into and develop new international markets, the group said.
Highlighting that a modern, high performance, internationally competitive processing industry in Ireland is “essential to advancing the sector’s international market diversification strategy”, MII added:
It is equally important to optimising market returns which is key to delivering the best return for raw materials at farm level.
New investment is important to the 16,000+ jobs in meat processing and many thousands more in linked employment. Product and market diversification requires major capital investment, the Ibec meat industry representative group said.
Cormac Healy, Director of MII, commented, stating: “Investment is a vote of confidence and demonstration of ambition for the future.
“While we will continue to work to retain the place of Irish meat in the UK supply chain, Irish meat processors are focused on diversifying our export market portfolio, wherever possible in European markets, but the major potential for growth and diversification exists in international markets.
“Processing, packing, refrigeration and logistics for supplying international markets across the globe require significant new investment in capability and competitiveness.
New product development and market offerings will also be a focus of investment. Sustainably produced and processed quality Irish meat will be central to success.
“Irish meat has strong environmental credentials amongst international competition.
“This is a good point of departure but the focus of new investment projects will be measured against delivering enhanced sustainability.”