Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Food and Horticulture, Jackie Cahill has raised the issue of the Irish mushroom industry at yesterday’s (Tuesday, 13th September) meeting of the Oireachtas Agriculture and Food Committee, and called for representatives of the industry to present before the committee.

Deputy Cahill said: “Last month’s closure of Schiel and MacDonald in Tipperary Town should be a wakeup call for everyone who cares about this important sector of the economy.”

“The closure of Schiel and McDonald which resulted in the loss of 70 jobs in the area was as a direct result of Brexit, and the impact of sterling exchange rate drops.”

“The Irish mushroom industry exports 90% of its produce to the UK. Unless drastic action is taken, this important industry, which employs 3500 jobs across Ireland, could collapse in the next year.”

“Last month, when I raised this issue, I called on the Minister to intervene by implementing the exceptional State Aid measure allowing for a short term loan to be provided to the company to cater for liquidity gaps which companies in the Fruit and Vegetable sector can access. This must happen immediately,” added Cahill.

“We cannot let this happen. We need to understand how the industry sees this challenge, and find out from them how we can help.”

“At yesterday’s meeting, I called for representatives of the industry to be brought before the committee so we can hear from them directly. I look forward to hearing from them, and finding out how we can support the growers,” concluded Cahill.