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Gnáthamharc

Factory Closures.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 28 March 2006

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Ceisteanna (311)

Jack Wall

Ceist:

331 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the structure and timescale of the proposed distribution of funding on the closures of the two sugar factories at Carlow and Mallow; the percentage breakdown between the farming community and Greencore; the appeal mechanism available to farmers in their share of the available funding; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11590/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Agriculture and Food)

The agreement on reform of the EU sugar regime which comes into effect on 1 July 2006 provides for a restructuring fund in respect of the economic, social and environmental costs of restructuring of the sugar industry, involving factory closure and renunciation of quota. In Ireland's case, this fund would be worth up to €145 million. The agreement provides that at least 10% of the restructuring fund shall be reserved for sugar beet growers and machinery contractors. That proportion may be increased by member states after consultation of interested parties provided that an economically sound balance between the elements of the restructuring plan is ensured.

Where restructuring takes place in the first year of the new regime, following consultations between the processor and the beet growers an application for restructuring aid, including a detailed restructuring plan for the industry, must be made by 31 July 2006 and a decision on the granting of the aid must be made by the member state by 30 September 2006. Where aid is awarded in respect of restructuring in the first year, payment must be made in two instalments: the first instalment of 60% by 31 March 2007 and the balance by 30 November 2007.

The EU Commission is working on detailed rules for the implementation of the restructuring scheme. It is anticipated that the relevant Commission regulation will be adopted in May.

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