The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D, has confirmed that the LEADER Food Initiative, which provides funding support for new and existing artisan, micro and small food producers, will continue next year during the CAP transition period.
Minister McConalogue stated, “I am pleased that this important programme will continue next year, and that there will be an increase in the maximum rate of aid from 50% to 75% in line with changes to LEADER generally. This decision ensures that continued funding will be available to assist small food producers to develop new food offerings, new routes to sell their produce, and to support the rural economy at this critical time.”
The €15 million LEADER Food Initiative, which is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the Rural Development Programme, will continue to support new and existing food and beverage producers in areas such as (1) market development, (2) competitiveness, and (3) innovation. A new call for applications will be launched in 2021, following on from an initial €5m call in 2018, for which approvals have been issued. The maximum amount of funding permitted is €200,000 per project.