Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D, today announced details of a €26.8 million investment in 44 seafood processing projects which are helping drive transformational change in the sector.
The Seafood Capital Processing Scheme is funded by the European Union under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR). Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s seafood development agency, administers the scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, which provides for up to €45 million in funding to the seafood processing sector.
Announcing details of the investment on European Maritime Day, Minister McConalogue said:
“The Processing Capital Support Scheme is providing significant investment in seafood processing enterprises, which employ some 4,000 people in rural coastal communities.
“This scheme is supporting seafood processing industry to develop their enterprises, navigate the challenging trading environment and support jobs in this important sector.
“I am pleased to highlight Brexit Adjustment Reserve funding opportunities available to the Irish seafood processing sector as Europe’s marine community come together on European Maritime Day.”
Donegal Fish, The Good Fish Company in Carrigaline, Co Cork and the Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, are among the projects funded under the scheme to date.
The scheme is based on a recommendation of the Seafood Taskforce which was established by Minister McConalogue to assess the impacts of Brexit and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement on the fishing sector and coastal communities. It is targeted at projects which are deemed as transformational capital investment in the seafood processing sector.
Minister McConalogue added:
“This investment is supporting the Irish processing sector to undertake transformational change, mitigating the effects of Brexit including reduced supply and access to markets. Through the scheme, my Department through BIM is helping seafood processors build more environmentally friendly, sustainable and competitive enterprises which serve the EU and wider global markets.”
Notes for the Editor
The European Maritime Day (EMD) is an annual two-day event (24-25 May) during which Europe’s maritime community meet to network, discuss and outline joint action on maritime affairs and sustainable blue economy.
The Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) fund aims to provide financial support to the Member States, regions and sectors most affected by Brexit to deal with the adverse economic, social, territorial and, where appropriate, environmental consequences. Ireland, as the Member State most affected, has received a significant allocation of over €1 billion, or just over 20% of the entire Reserve.
In its report in October 2021, the Seafood Taskforce made sixteen recommendations to leverage BAR funding to support the seafood sector and coastal communities respond to the challenges posed by Brexit.
Based on these recommendations, several Government support schemes are being implemented by BIM in line with DPER and EU eligibility requirements. Projects funded under BAR support schemes must be completed and paid before the end of 2023.
The Brexit Processing Capital Support Scheme is designed to provide greater levels of funding to those capital investment projects which result in higher value-added activities. It will assist seafood processors seeking to move away from commodity production to the production of higher value-added products. It will also help and to those seeking to diversify their product offering and enter new markets. Funding will also be available for seafood processors seeking to improve environmental performance and those aiming to achieve greater production efficiencies.
The supports are available to all onshore processors in Ireland, which are Sea Fisheries Protection Authority approved and fall within the EU Commission classification of SMEs. Rates of support are graduated according to the degree of value add achieved and eligible enterprises may apply for more than one investment type, as a package of support.
The scheme offers three rates of support for capital expenditure. Projects funded under this scheme must be completed before the end of 2023.
Investment Type 1: Tier 1 Transformational Processing Equipment
This investment type is targeted at funding secondary processing equipment which is clearly aligned to a product and/or market diversification strategy, to assist processing enterprises in moving away from commodity production to production of higher value-added products, and to further integrate the supply chain.
Grant rate up to 50%
Investment Type 2: Tier 2 Transformational Processing Equipment and Energy Efficiency Investments
This investment type is targeted at elevating enterprises beyond primary processing to produce value added products for earlier points in the supply chain than catered for in Investment Type 1, products for non-human consumption, and products derived from the transformation of waste, which support a product and/or market diversification strategy.
Investments in renewable energy sources AND enhancing the energy efficiency of buildings in which transformational processing equipment is housed, is also covered by this investment type.
Grant rate up to 40%
Investment Type 3: Primary Processing Efficiency and Facilities investments
This investment type is aimed at supporting investment in quality, competitiveness and efficiency improvements in primary processing and/or in fundamental equipment and capital works which support secondary processing and are aligned to a product and/or market diversification strategy.
Grant rate up to 30%