The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has welcomed the announcement by SuperValu that it will put financial supports in place for a number of existing vegetable growers who have been negatively impacted by the recent heatwave. The announcement was made following discussions with the Irish Farmers Association (IFA).
Growers of broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, celery, lettuce, kale, parsnips, leeks, carrots, scallions and swedes will be benefit from the scheme, with all costs covered by SuperValu.
Commenting, 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 has 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.
“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.”
Minister Creed highlighted said 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.