FDI Budget 2024 Submission
Food Drink Ireland Calls for Significant Supports to assist the Food Sector’s Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy
Food Drink Ireland (FDI), the Ibec group representing the food and drink sector, has today published its Budget 2024 Submission (see below) which calls for additional supports for the sector to assist its development into a low carbon economy.
Paul Kelly, FDI Director said: “High levels of input cost inflation (energy and commodities) are impacting on margins, competitiveness, and investment decisions. At the same time, there is an increased need to build resilience against high ongoing energy costs and wider competitiveness pressures whilst investing heavily in low carbon / resource efficient processes and accelerating digital transformation measures”.
“The 2030 sectoral emissions reductions targets (Agriculture – 25%, Industry – 35%) will require significant government support to assist the food sector in the transition to a low carbon economy in the decades ahead. Dairy, meat and drinks companies are already financially supporting the Signpost Farms initiative to ensure the most carbon efficient raw material supply but also need to invest in manufacturing processes”.
“FDI’s Budget Submission makes several recommendations to help achieve these aims:
- Expand SEAI Project Assistant Grants, the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSHR), and the Excellence in Energy Efficiency Design (EXEED) programme to support large scale decarbonisation.
- Maintain the accelerated capital allowances for energy-efficient equipment (which is designed to ensure the uptake of low-carbon technologies), which is due to end in 2023. should be maintained.
- An increase in the accelerated capital allowance for energy efficient products and equipment to a super allowance of 130%.
- Budget 2024 must drive increased uptake of microgeneration measures at factory level through the full roll out of the Micro-Generation Support Scheme (MSS), the Clean Export Guarantee (CEG), the Clean Export Premium tariff, the NSPM, and ancillary informational supports and resources for end-users.
- Investment supports such as the EIIS and R&D tax credit should be regularly reviewed to ensure that they are attractive for investment in the most cost-effective low carbon technology.
- Introduce accelerated capital allowances for advanced manufacturing including computerised/computer-aided machinery and robotic machines.
- Leverage the €85 million Digital Transition Fund provided for in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan to drive further digital transformation across the food and drink sector through the introduction of a new grants scheme for businesses and the establishment of European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs).
- Increase the Innovation Voucher value to €10,000. For many businesses, these vouchers enable them to engage for the first time in formal research, development, and innovation activity. An increase in the maximum amount would allow greater ambition in these initial projects.
- More supports is needed for the continued development of recycling infrastructure and to work with the waste sector to encourage investment in technologies to develop the circular economy.
The Budget Submission also calls for Brexit Adjustment Reserve funding to be extended into 2024 to future proof the sector from the increased costs of trade due to Brexit and for measures to support the Experience Economy’s competitiveness and productivity.