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Thread: Death of Irish Sugar Industry

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    Default Death of Irish Sugar Industry

    Food group Greencore has announced the planned closure of the last Irish sugar processing plant at Mallow, with the loss of 300 jobs.

    The decision by the former State-owned company follows changes in the EU sugar trading rules that had followed a World Trade Organisation case that had been prompted by complaints from Brazil, Australia and Thailand.

    The EU is providing a restructuring fund to Ireland worth €146m - Greencore is claiming 90% and the IFA says it's entitled to 75%.

    The Irish Sugar Company dates back to 1926 and was one of the first State-sponsored industries.

    Times change, nevertheless the end of the industry is a milestone.
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    I think we missed an opportunity here.

    There was more work to be done measuring CO2 emmissions and sugar beat consumption of them, which runs at three times the amount of your average plant.

    Instead of paying other countries for CO2 credits, we could have moved that money to subsidy. We might have kept an industry going, reduced emmissions by processsing the beat into bio-fuel and absorbed more CO2 than we currently do, all the while recycling money within the economy instead of sending it over seas.

    I don't know whether the maths definitely adds up, but we should have done the sums before shutting the plant.
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    This is a disaster for Mallow, and the wider North Cork area, because of it knock-on affects on haulage and other sectors.

    The fact that Mary Coughlan is allowed stay in office after this says a lot about Ministerial accountability under FF. Her incompetence has been staggering.

    A viable, profitable, and growing Irish industry has been closed down - and she hasn't even raised a hand to try to stop it happening.

    Coughlan turned her back on the Carlow plant before it closed, and she has done the same here. Its clear that Coughlan was telling different stories to both the IFA and Greencore in an effort to placate everyone. Unfortunately they were both given a barrel of lies. It seems now that when she was in Brussels negotiating this "deal", she didn't even know the full facts herself.
    She was unable to provide information to ANYONE on the restructuring levy and who would be liable for it; how the rest of the compensation would be allocated (between farmers and Greencore) and the qualifying criteria for the compensation itself.

    She basically shrugged her shoulders, washed her hands of it, and left it to Greencore and the farmers to sort out between themselves.

    I can't think of any Minister in recent years who has been shown up to be so incompetent, and totally out of her depth in their brief. Even Mary O' Rourke's catastrophic time at Public Enterprise wasn't this bad.

    Coughlan should be sacked for this disaster. God help us if Bird Flu hits our shores, and this woman is charged with defending us from it
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    A viable, profitable, and growing Irish industry has been closed down - and she hasn't even raised a hand to try to stop it happening.


    "Viable, profitable" - it was getting massive subsidies and protection courtesy of EU taxpayers, who have now decided to end this.
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    I sometimes wonder if BarryW is really Maximus Richardus in drag.


    Quote Originally Posted by BarryW
    This is a disaster for Mallow, and the wider North Cork area, because of it knock-on affects on haulage and other sectors.

    The fact that Mary Coughlan is allowed stay in office after this says a lot about Ministerial accountability under FF. Her incompetence has been staggering.
    She is a Fianna Fail Minister. We can take her incompetence for granted!


    A viable, profitable, and growing Irish industry has been closed down - and she hasn't even raised a hand to try to stop it happening.
    It is hardly a growing industry - never mind viable or profitable!

    Without significant handouts from the taxpayer it would never have existed.

    Coughlan turned her back on the Carlow plant before it closed, and she has done the same here. Its clear that Coughlan was telling different stories to both the IFA and Greencore in an effort to placate everyone. Unfortunately they were both given a barrel of lies. It seems now that when she was in Brussels negotiating this "deal", she didn't even know the full facts herself.
    Coughlan had nothing to do with the closure of Carlow.


    She was unable to provide information to ANYONE on the restructuring levy and who would be liable for it; how the rest of the compensation would be allocated (between farmers and Greencore) and the qualifying criteria for the compensation itself.
    They have to give the compensation to Greencore - they are a big business - but they have to mask it from the farmers, otherwise the farmers might vote for the Greens (or FG, God forbid!)

    She basically shrugged her shoulders, washed her hands of it, and left it to Greencore and the farmers to sort out between themselves.

    I can't think of any Minister in recent years who has been shown up to be so incompetent, and totally out of her depth in their brief. Even Mary O' Rourke's catastrophic time at Public Enterprise wasn't this bad.

    Coughlan should be sacked for this disaster. God help us if Bird Flu hits our shores, and this woman is charged with defending us from it
    Oh grow up. I remember Ivan Yates sucking up to Monsanto in 1996 and ignoring the evidence that GM crops would be a disaster for Irish Agriculture.

    But I do agree with you about Bird Flu - and so do the Public Health Doctors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryW
    A viable, profitable, and growing Irish industry has been closed down - and she hasn't even raised a hand to try to stop it happening.
    Is there anything you are not prepared to say?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biffo
    Is there anything you are not prepared to say?
    If you think I'm wrong then please tell us why
    "The IRA Army Council have a history of telling the truth. If they say they didn't do it, then I believe them" - Bertie Ahern, speaking after the murder of Det. Garda Jerry McCabe

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    Nice one Barbie.

    Since Thurles in the 80's Fianna Fail Governments have wiped out the Beet Industry.

    Only a fool would have put Coughlan into Agriculture House.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryW
    Quote Originally Posted by Biffo
    Is there anything you are not prepared to say?
    If you think I'm wrong then please tell us why
    The EU agreed last Nov a 36 percent price cut for white sugar over four years beginning in 2006/07 to ensure sustainable market balance, -20 percent in year one, -27.5 percent in year two, -35 percent in year three and -36 percent in year four.

    So a 36% drop in price while production costs rise about 3-5% annually.

    From 2009, the world’s poorest countries will have completely free access to our market.

    Sugar is one product where there aren't many options to climb up the "value chain."
    Believe those who search for truth. Doubt those who claim to have found it -André Gide (1869-1951) Nobel Laureate 1947

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    The only issue to be resolved is the allocation of the compensation (a decent package achieved by the minister) to farmers and Greencore, who have shown a sudden interest in getting compensated. It is a tricky one for the minister but it should be remembered that Greencore are not short of a few bob.

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