Thurles sugar beet factory (1981)
Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on Tipperary farming
“Tipperary, and Clonmel and Thurles, in particular, have a very strong history of beet production. It would be a tremendous local boost if we were to actively work toward reviving the days when the beet industry within the county was strong and financially viable.
As I understand it, in terms of employment there are roughly 145,000 sugar beet growers in the EU in 20 different Member States, with a further 28,000 direct employees in the sugar beet processing end of things.
This demonstrates that there is a significant demand to be met and that Ireland and Tipperary can play a vital part in delivering that demand.
It is estimated that the UK alone imports over a million tonnes of beet annually from France. With Brexit coming down the tracks we can and should be reaching out to that market by developing and growing a fantastic indigenous industry.
As the plans for a revived beet industry progress, it is my firm hope that Tipperary farmers will play a significant role,” concluded Deputy McGrath.