Sugar beet campaign hits Enniscorthy
A massive turnout is expected at the Farm Centre, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, on Thursday evening as the campaign to resurrect the sugar beet industry gathers pace.
More than 400 people braved atrocious weather last Tuesday to attend a meeting in Mallow, Co Cork. The meeting agreed to the formation of a steering committee to co-ordinate efforts to revive sugar beet processing.
Farmers, former beet factory workers, hauliers and local business people were represented at the Mallow meeting, which was held at the Hibernian Hotel.
The speakers included local councillor Tom Barry, former grower Alan Navratil, Tom Bruton, of Biofuels Ireland, and former Teagasc man Jerry McCarthy.
While the implications of the EU Court of Auditors' report on the rationalisation of Europe's sugar industry were outlined to the crowd, it was agreed that securing the return of the Irish sugar quota had to be the first step in reviving the industry.
Wexford tillage farmer Willie French, who is a former chairman of the IFA beet committee, said there was huge enthusiasm among the crowd to restart the industry.
"We will certainly assess the scope for sugar to be used in other industries but the first thing is to get the industry back and see where we go from there," Mr French said.
The Enniscorthy meeting kicks off at 8pm.