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€6m support for Irish mushroom sector

A €6m support package has been announced to improve efficiencies in the Irish mushroom sector.

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue with Peadar McGee from Cornacrieve Mushrooms and Northway Mushroom Producers Organisation.

The schemes will come from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve Fund and will fund switches to renewable energy sources, automation and new market development following post-Brexit challenges with the UK market.

The schemes will offer growers and processors up to 40% grant assistance to all businesses, including compost yards contributing to the production of mushrooms in Ireland, towards the capital cost of specialised equipment and facilities to increase the efficiency and sustainability of mushroom growing, packing and processing.

Commenting on the support, Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue said: “The mushroom sector provides a valuable contribution to the Irish economy with a farmgate value of approximately €130m in 2022. I am delighted to announce these two schemes with a budget of €5m, which will support growers, packhouses and compost yards in developing efficiencies lost as a result of Brexit.”

Eligible investments include:

  • Renewable energy sources for mushroom farms, packhouses and processing plants;

  • Automation and efficiencies in mushroom farms and packhouses;

  • The infrastructure to produce mushroom-based meat-free foods and powders.

  • Approximately 80-85% of Irish production is exported to the UK. Given the short shelf life of mushrooms and the tight margins experienced by the sector, exporting to continental Europe is not viable.

In addition, €1.01m has been secured to Bord Bia to support the promotion of mushrooms in the UK.

Minister of State Pippa Hackett added: “Irish mushroom producers have experienced a challenging couple of years with the impact of Brexit, high input costs and a softening export market post-Covid.

"This much-needed investment in promotion will ensure that Irish mushrooms continue to be in UK shopping baskets and on UK plates. Irish mushrooms are a sustainable, nutritious and filling way to feed any family.”

The deadline for both the 2023 Scheme of Investment Aid for Energy Efficiency, Automation and Processing for Commercial Mushroom Producers and the 2023 Scheme of Investment Aid for Commercial Non-Primary Producers in the Mushroom Sector, and for Peat Replacement by Commercial Mushroom Producers is midnight on Friday, July 28, 2023.


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