Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on Tipperary farming organisations and all interested stakeholders to consider making submissions for plans to revive the beet industry within the agricultural sector.
Deputy McGrath was speaking after a meeting of tillage farmers in County Wexford organised by Irish Grain Growers were informed of plans to construct a Beet processing plant on the Carlow-Kildare border:
“Tipperary, and Clonmel and Thurles in particular have a very strong history of beet production. It would be a tremendous local boost if we were to actively work toward reviving the days when the beet industry within the county was strong and financially viable.
“As I understand it, in terms of employment there are roughly 145,000 sugar beet growers in the EU in 20 different Member States, with a further 28,000 direct employees in the sugar beet processing end of things.
“This demonstrates that there is a significant demand to be met and that Ireland, and Tipperary can play a vital part in delivering that demand.
“It is estimated that the UK alone imports over a million tonnes of beet annually from France. With Brexit coming down the tracks we can and should be reaching out to that market by developing and growing a fantastic indigenous industry.
“As the plans for a revived beet industry progress, it is my firm hope that Tipperary farmers will play a significant role,” concluded Deputy McGrath.