“A huge amount of progress has been made in the last 12 months since the EU court of Auditors announced that it had been a mistake to force Ireland out of the Sugar Beet Industry,” so stated Martin Heydon Fine Gael TD for Kildare South in an address to a large public meeting in the Clannard Court Athy last Thursday November 24th, about the possible restoration of the industry in Ireland.

Heydon’s main message to the large gathering of former and potential future beet growers was that the potential outlined in the Beet Ireland Feasibility Study could only be realised by farmer buy in. “The positive potential for the Irish economy if we can return to the production of beet for sugar and ethanol production is enormous. However this will not happen without the buy in of Irish Farmers. There still is a long road to go on a political level but farmers can rest assured that we are up for that battle in Europe,” Heydon concluded.

Deputy Heydon highlighted the role of the delegation who travelled to Brussels earlier in the year to prove the need for Ireland to get back into sugar beet production, the drawing up of two very positive feasibility studies over the summer and the announcement of the Cap proposals which included a proposal to remove sugar quota by 2015.

Other speakers on the night included Mr. Dave Barry from Goldcrop, and Mr. Michael Hoey Chairman Beet Ireland who gave details of how farmers would own 30% of the new company if the industry got back off the ground. Farmers who missed the meeting and wish to register their interest in growing sugar beet should visit www.sugarbeet.ie