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COVID-19: Information and Advice for Horticultural Producers

In order to assist growers and producers to act to reduce the impacts of COVID-19 and the associated national mitigation measures on their business we have divided the information into two main areas 1. Latest updates and 2. Publications. Both are available below. 

Latest updates

28th May 2020

HSE Travel and Coronavirus guidelines can be found here . This gives detailed guidance for both travel within Ireland and International travel. Associated passenger locator form, helpline and webchat facilities are also available.

1st May 2020

The recently published roadmap for reopening society and business sets out how the COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted. The 5 phase roadmap beings on May18th. Please follow the link below for further details.

Roadmap for reopening society and business

29th April 2020

Seasonal Workers from Overseas

With regards to seasonal workers, anyone arriving to Ireland from overseas is expected to sign the Public health passenger locator form and self-isolate for 14 days except for a limited number of exempt categories of passengers, for example supply chain workers (such as pilots, hauliers or maritime crew members) or passengers who are transiting en route to another jurisdiction including Northern Ireland.

Garden Centre Retail

Enterprise Ireland will launch the call for funding today to support retail companies to enhance their digital capability. This is a competitive fund which will be administered by Enterprise Ireland on behalf of DBEI with a total fund size of €2million. Applicants must be an Irish-owned retail enterprise that had 10 or more employees on or before 29 February 2020, derive their primary income from an existing  retail outlet/s and have an existing online presence.  The Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme is complimentary to the Online Trading Voucher provided by Local Enterprise Offices for companies with less than 10 employees. The maximum grant available is €40,000. Successful applicants will be awarded funding to support a maximum of 80% of the project costs. The minimum grant amount payable is €10,000.  Costs which successful companies will be eligible to claim for include: salary costs and external service provider fees to develop a digital strategy, enhance the company’s website or to provide in-ho​use The final date for companies to submit an application is 3.00 pm on Wednesday 27th May 2020. Full details of application process and eligibility rules are available on the EI website now with the link to the application available from today(29th April)www.enterprise-ireland.com/retail

20th April 2020

A national recruitment campaign is now open and active. This campaign aims to recruit a large number of temporary workers for the horticulture sector from the Live Register within Ireland. 

DAFM and Teagasc, with the support of Horticultural producers represented by IFA, have partnered with DEASP to support this development.  As an employer looking for horticultural workers, you can participate in this recruitment campaign by following the link directly below. We will pass the information to DEASP every few days so that they can seek to match people to the open positions in your business.

Seasonal Workers recruitment campaign form

3rd April 2020

Teagasc horticulture Development Department have published their latest in a series of documents to support horticulture producers COVID 19: Guidelines and recommendations for safeguarding staff on horticultural facilities.

This document is prepared to inform horticulture producers on how to mitigate for an outbreak of COVID-19 on their units and provide advice on how to minimise the risk of the spread by re-enforcing prescribed physical distancing measures, hygiene measures and training.

1st April 2020

 DAFM have issued guidance FAQs for the Agriculture sector https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/customerservice/coronaviruscovid-19/

Question 20 in the FAQ is a very good clarification for Horticulture producers and growers; 

“Is Horticulture included as an essential business?  Yes. Horticultural production, including nurseries are deemed to be included within the Agriculture Essential Business List. Activities may include cultivation and supply of fruit and vegetables and the ongoing seasonal planting, harvest and maintenance of horticulture plants.”

 Trading OnLine Scheme

Online plant sales are growing fast at the moment due to garden centre retail closures.  Another scheme that may be worth looking at under LEO is the Trading Online Scheme given the surge in interest in this area and Horticulture businesses can apply. Some growers might take opportunity to set up on line trading. There is a €2500 grant towards areas like web site, advertising and marketing.  Full details of the Trading Online Scheme is available here https://www.localenterprise.ie/Discover-Business-Supports/Trading-Online-Voucher-Scheme-/

 Business continuity Voucher

Ptrovided by www.localenterprise.ie this voucher is open to horticultural businesses.  Businesses can be assigned a mentor in one or a number of areas where they may benefit from expertise – financial, IT, HR etc. i.e. voucher  can be split depending on needs. For more information and application see https://www.localenterprise.ie/Portal/response/Business-Continuity-Voucher/Business-Continuity-Voucher.html

30th March 2020

 Coronavirus: Commission presents practical guidance to ensure the free movement of critical workers

On Monday 30th March, the Commission issued new practical advice to ensure that mobile workers within the EU, in particular those in critical occupations to fight the coronavirus pandemic, can reach their workplace. This includes but is not limited to those working in the health care and food sectors. See https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=89&furtherNews=yes&newsId=9630

Publications

COVID-19: Information for Horticultural Producers

COVID 19: Relevant Financial Supports for Horticultural Producers and their Employees

COVID 19: Guidelines and Recommendations for Safeguarding Staff on Horticultural Facilities

COVID-19: Roadmap for reopening society and business