Ministers welcome supports for Irish vegetable growers
Minister for Agriculture Food and Marine Michael Creed, and Minister of State Andrew Doyle, today welcomed today’s announcement by SuperValu that it is supporting Irish vegetable growers in response to the recent drought conditions.
Minister Doyle said
I strongly welcome this initiative by SuperValu to support Irish growers, and would encourage other retailers to follow this example. Irish consumers can also play their part, by buying and eating more vegetables carrying the Bord Bia Quality Mark, as part of a balanced healthy diet.
The current drought has been challenging for all sectors of Irish farming and none more so than the Horticultural sector. This is a practical example of retailers recognising the importance of suppliers and the challenges that they face in ensuring we are supplied with fresh produce every day of the year.
Minister Creed also announced that Bord Bia will roll-out business mentoring and ‘lean’ business learning to businesses in the Horticulture sector supporting growers also. These initiatives support such businesses to maximise the efficiency in their business processes. He said
I have asked Bord Bia to support the vegetable sector through the provision of a new, bespoke programme of business mentoring for impacted businesses. In addition, I anticipate that Bord Bia will also expand and make available its Lean Programme, which has recently been successfully piloted in the horticulture industry.
Pointing to the Department’s direct support for the sector, Minister Creed highlighted that the Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector with its recent annual budget of €5m has had a very positive impact through the provision of grant aid to facilitate grower investment in specialised horticultural buildings and equipment.
Over recent months the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has also engaged with a number of horticultural growers that are exploring the possibilities afforded by the EU funded Producer Organisation Scheme.