Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), which has announced the inclusion of distilled spirits of the Future Growth Loan Scheme today.
'The new scheme aims to support strategic long-term investment for companies in a post-Brexit environment, allowing for innovation and diversification,' the drinks group said in a statement.
These producers, which were previously excluded, have been added following significant engagement by ABFI with the Government and the European Investment Bank.
“While we are clear in our desire to avoid a hard border and for seamless alignment between the EU and the UK, things do remain uncertain," Patricia Callan of ABFI said.
"As such, the Future Growth Loan Scheme will be important protection for drinks companies in the aftermath of Brexit. We welcome in particular the positive response of Government and the European Investment Bank to ensure equality for spirit producers and their inclusion in the scheme, following the successful campaign by ABFI.”
The launch today took place in the recently-opened Dublin Liberties Distillery in recognition of the inclusion of distilled spirits producers, who now join beer and cider producers as being eligible for the scheme, which over a five-year period will make a fund of up to €300 million available.
SMEs, including producers in the drinks industry, can apply for loan eligibility from 17th April, with at least 40% available to the agri-food sector.
“Ireland’s drinks industry is experiencing a period of exceptional growth and innovation, with small breweries and distilleries located across the island of Ireland," Callan added.
The latest CSO figures show that overall alcohol drinks exports increased by 8% last year, from €1.25 billion in 2017 to €1.35 billion in 2018.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.