Simon Coveney , T.D, The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced today (Wednesday 17 July 2013) the award of €2.4 million in grant aid to 25 seafood processing companies under the 2013 Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme. Taken in conjunction with private sector investment the total investment will be over €8 million in 2013.
Speaking at the announcement of the investments, Minister Coveney said:
“Processing is a high growth area in Ireland’s seafood sector and has successfully targeted new business opportunities in markets like China, Russia and Africa. Overall exports were valued at €517m in 2012, an increase of 20% on 2012. This €8 million investment by the industry represents a very significant funding commitment by processing companies and Government to the seafood sector and underpins the confidence of new joint venture partnerships which were significant contributors to the increase in the value of Irish seafood exports in 2012”.
The 25 companies receiving grant aid are from seven coastal counties across the country, namely Kerry, Dublin, Cork, Galway, Wexford, Mayo and Donegal.
The Minister said “The geographic spread of the companies receiving the grant aid is testament to the success of the Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme and the innovative and creative developments happening in seafood generally”.
The Minister made the announcement of the new investments at the launch of BIM’s new strategy for the seafood sector 2013 – 2017. The strategy “Capturing Ireland’s share of the global seafood opportunity” sets targets for the creation of 1,200 additional jobs, aligned to a total sales value of €1 billion of which exports will form €650m by the end of 2017.
The Minister said “The Irish Seafood sector is currently in expansionary mode, it is a growth industry. I believe that through the type of investment supports and strategic plan announced today, the Government can assist Irish seafood processing companies to scale up, diversify further and innovate as they develop new markets, enhancing profitability and job creation prospects into the future.”