·       Over €883,000 in funding is available under the LEADER Food Initiative

·       Call aimed at Artisan, Micro, Small food producers or on-farm diversification enterprises

·       This grant aid is also for investment in local processing facilities, which allow farmers to sell their products into the local and wider domestic markets

·       Timeframes for approval and completion of all LEADER funded projects also extended

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Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD; together with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD; and Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett have today (Monday, 7th August, 2023) announced a new call for applications to the LEADER Food Initiative (LFI).

The call is targeted at eligible small food businesses in line with a commitment in the Programme for Government, ‘Our Shared Future’, to support the small food producer, providing support for on-farm diversification enterprises and investment in local processing facilities, allowing farmers to sell their products into the local and wider domestic markets”.

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The LEADER Food Initiative was allocated €15 million as part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme 2014 -2020 and was launched in May 2018 to support the further development of food and beverage businesses throughout rural Ireland. Of the allocated amount, at least €883,000 in funding has become available for various reasons, e.g. project withdrawals, or projects completing for less than the grant amount approved.

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This new call is specifically targeted towards the following groups to enable them to diversify, expand and develop:

·       on-farm diversification enterprises; and

·       artisan, micro and small food businesses.

The maximum amount of funding permitted per project under this call is €200,000 and funding proposals must not be for less than €5,000 per project. Additionally, projects must be fully completed by 31 March 2024.

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Announcing the final call for applications, all three Ministers urged Local Action Groups and their Implementing Partners to engage with potential applicants for this funding in their areas and to submit any project proposals they may have to the Department of Rural and Community Development seeking funding approval in principle for these projects.

All  project proposals for this call must be submitted by the LAG and their Implementing Partners to food1420@drcd.gov.ie by 5:30 pm on 31st August 2023.

 

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