TOM BARRY TO ATTEND SITE SELECTION MEETINGS WITH BEET IRELAND AS CORK POSSIBILITY GATHERS MOMENTUM
DEPUTY Tom Barry, along with Deputy Martin Heydon and Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture Andrew Doyle, will meet shortly with representatives of Beet Ireland to discuss progress on site selection for Ireland’s resurrected Sugar Industry. Deputy Barry confirmed: “We will be meeting shortly in light of the abolition of Sugar Quotas in order to work on the strategy to progress the project as seamlessly as possible. The discussions will include site selection and funding of the new facility. “Minister Simon Conveney last week
indicated that there may be a role for Enterprise Ireland in this new project, as it will involve a major infrastructural project that will bring considerable jobs and investment to Ireland. The Cork East TD confirmed: “There is a growing realisation on the part of all of the various bodies involved that the right site might be in Cork because of the previous rail connection with Wexford. The possibility of this connection being re-established is being explored at the moment. “Understandably, many of the discussions are at a preliminary stage but the most important point is that sugar production will be returning to Ireland once the quotas are abolished in 2017 which, personally, marks a major achievement on behalf of all of those who have been involved in the long fight to make this happen.” European Union negotiators agreed last week to dismantle the bloc’s system of sugar production quotas from October 2017, as part of wider reforms to the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP). The 45-year-old system of national production quotas and minimum sugar beet prices has been blamed for creating artificial shortages of the sweetener in Europe, and limiting EU exports because of world trade rules on unfair subsidies. Deputy Barry again paid tribute to Minister Coveney and his team of negotiators for ensuring that this vital step on the road back to sugar production was taken as part of the CAP reform.