Offaly backing for plans to resurrect sugar beet industry

Egis Paulikas

Reporter:

Egis Paulikas

Email:

egis@alphanewspapers.com

KINNITTY based councillor John Clendennen has welcomed efforts by Beet Ireland to resurrect the Sugar Beet Industry in Ireland. Plans are currently being explored, to establish the potential for a Sugar Beet Cooperative with a processing plant on the Kildare / Carlow border, and a crop collection radius that would include Laois and Offaly.

’At recent meetings hosted by Beet Ireland, attendees were invited to subscribe to a new sugar beet cooperative as an equity stakeholder, the initial step in the process will require 1,000 growers to invest €1,000, and it is anticipated that the interest in this process will determine the demand’, according to Cllr. Clendennen.

Clendennen believes ‘the abolition of EU sugar quotas provides the platform to re-establish the sector in Ireland’, highlighting that ‘there is significant work to be carried out regarding a feasibility study but if such a study deems the sector to be sustainable, it would be a major opportunity for job creation and local tillage farmers if a desirable price for the crop can be achieved’.

In additional to Sugar production, Beet Ireland believes further opportunity can be materialised through the Sugar Beet by-product, and the generation of bioethanol. More information on the objectives of Beet Ireland can be found at www.sugarbeet.ie

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