Labour MEP for Munster and Member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee of the European Parliament, Phil Prendergast, today said that the revival of a sugar industry in Ireland was a realistic proposition.
Her comments came after a meeting with her Socialist and Democratic colleagues from across the EU on the subject of the EU’s sugar regime where it was stated that the possibility for the re-entry of Member States who were removed from sugar production and processing after the last round of reforms was being examined and a feasible method being worked out.
Speaking after the meeting, Ms. Prendergast said “I am delighted to announce that the S&D group, Labour’s sister party in the European Parliament, is fully behind restoring the sugar industry in Ireland.
“It has been widely recognised by the Court of Auditors and others, that the last round of reforms was a disaster from the perspective of Irish sugar- with our quota being sold to the French and our factories dismantled. This was done as it was said that our sugar industry was unsustainable. However we know now that this was not the case, and that the sustainability of Irish sugar is beyond question.
“I am aware, and have met various parties, who are committed to rebuilding the sugar industry in particular in areas like Mallow, Tipperary and Carlow, and I welcome this. I will do all I can to support them at European level as a Member of the Agriculture Committee and as someone who believes in the future of the Irish sugar industry.
“I will be meeting these interested parties over the coming weeks to discuss their proposals in detail.”