Thursday, 6 December 2018

Ceisteanna (212)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

212. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the supports available to farmers for growing sugar beet. [51491/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

In 2006 the EU introduced a restructuring mechanism intended to reduce overall production of sugar, acknowledging the then global over supply and resultant low prices being achieved. Greencore, as the holder of the entire Irish sugar quota at the time, availed itself of this voluntary initiative, ceasing production and dismantling its processing facilitates.

As part of the reform of the CAP under the Irish Presidency agreement was secured on the abolition of sugar quotas from 30th September 2017.

As Ireland exited the sugar production industry in 2006 and sugar beet is generally not commercially grown here in any scale, there are no direct supports available for farmers specific to growing of sugar beet.

As the Deputy is aware the current "Programme for a Partnership Government" states that "State Bodies will be asked to examine any substantial business plans relating to rebuilding the industry with a view to considering appropriate State supports".

Any such business plans would need to be supported by a sufficiently robust business case, having regard to the price of sugar, to attract the substantial funding required from investors for such a new start-up industry.

Question No. 213 answered with Question No. 196.