Laois Offaly TD Charlie Flanagan has welcomed what he says is a huge investment in two food production companies that operate in the two counties.
The Fine Gael TD said agri-food projects across the constituency are to benefit from €70 million in national funding to help producers open new markets for their products following Britain’s exit from the EU.
He said Dawn Meats Ireland, which has a meat plant in Rathdowney, is getting a share of €4,366,495 for capital enhancements. The money will be divided between work at the Laois plant and the firm's facility n Charleville, Co Cork. Other facilities in the Dawn group around Ireland will also get funding from the national grant.
Another recipient will be of interest in Laois. The Glanbia dairy plant in Ballyragget, which employs many Laois people and processes a lot of Laois milk, is getting €2.7 million for capital investment to support a market diversification strategy. A further €1.4 million is going to the plant for capital investment to support diversification of product base.
Dep Flanagan also welcomed money for Glenisk in Offaly which was recently hit be a major fire. The organic dairy products producer is getting €491,310 for a decarbonisation strategy. The funding is being used to create a more carbon efficient production process as the plant is rebuilt in Killeigh not far from the Laois border.
“Funding for two project(s) across the dairy and meat sectors in Laois and Offaly announced by An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, will allow our local food producers to tap into new markets and attract more customers after a very challenging period due to Brexit.
"This is a huge investment in the Laois/Offaly agri-food industry and represents Fine Gael’s commitment to securing the economic future of rural Ireland.
“The agriculture sector is the lifeblood of many communities across the constituency. Nationally, we produce enough food to feed nine times our population and the sector employs almost 165,000 people across the country. We need to ensure the viability of these jobs long-term, and this investment of €70 million will go directly to food producers to help them develop and diversify.
“This investment is about gaining access to new markets in Asia and North America in particular, with a specific focus on moving up the value chain by increasing sales of higher value-add products,” he said.
The Laois based TD said 22 projects in the dairy and meat sectors across the country are to receive funding from the Government’s Capital Investment Scheme for the Processing and Marketing of Agricultural Products.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.