Food Academy to support 1500 jobs
18th July 2016
A survey by the Local Enterprise Offices shows that 281 small food and drink producers, members of the Food Academy Programme who employ 1,131 people, have made the break-through into the retail market. Those same businesses expect to create a further 373 jobs over the next 12 months, bringing the total number of jobs supported to just over 1,500 across the country.
At an event organised in Dublin by the Local Enterprise Offices today (Monday 18th, July), the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. met with food producers from eight different regions, who are among the 281 producers to have successfully made the break-through into the retail market. Run over a series of workshops, the programme is an initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices, Bord Bia and SuperValu to nurture new start-ups in the food and drink sector and it focuses on areas such as business planning, understanding consumer trends and raising finance.
Minister Mitchell O’ Connor met with producers from Cork, Donegal, Limerick, Kildare, Westmeath, Galway, Tipperary and Dublin at a Food Academy Start showcase in Dublin’s City Hall, where she encouraged more ‘early-stage’ food and drink producers to apply for the programme.
The businesses receive one to one mentoring and also pitch for a chance to trial their products in a SuperValu store. Since the programme began in 2013, over 1,100 products have been successfully trialled and are now on sale through the Irish supermarket chain. According to SuperValu, consumers in Ireland are expected to spend €25 million on Food Academy products in their stores in 2016.
The Food Academy Start programme is delivered through the Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities and details around the next programme are available through http://www.localenterprise.ie