Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed confirmed a €5m investment in a Prepared Consumer Foods (PCF) Centre.
The Minister reaffirmed the investment at a Food Gateway event in Teagasc Ashtown entitled; ‘Beyond Brexit – making food innovation go further’. Minister Creed also said that he hoped that the PCF Centre, located in Ashtown, will be operational by September this year. “I secured the agreement of Government in Budget 2018, as part of our Brexit response, to invest €5m in equipment, technologies and innovation to assist in the development of the PCF sector.” He continued: “This funding is being used for the purchase of PCF research equipment based in Teagasc Ashtown, which PCF companies can trial in collaboration with Teagasc and other research providers.”
Speaking at the event, the Minister highlighted the importance of innovation as a key response to Brexit uncertainty for the food industry. Commenting on the over-arching message of the Gateway event, the Minister said: “The role of research and innovation is critical to ensure that our food industry can address the challenges we face. While the agri-food sector has achieved remarkable and sustainable growth over recent years, we still face significant challenges – particularly in relation to environmental sustainability and, of course, the threat posed by Brexit. These challenges require us to look afresh at our business models, products and processes, to look at consumer and environmental demands and to see how we can ensure that we respond to those demands and how innovation and research can deliver new products, new ways of processing, new income streams, that allow Government and industry to deliver on these demands while surviving in an increasingly competitive market.”