Run over a series of workshops, the Food Academy programme is an initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), 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, packaging and raising finance.
The local food producers are: Easy Bake and their flavoured Brownie mixes from Rathfarnham, Mama Nagi’s Authentic Indian Chilli Recipies of Knocklyon, and Olly’s Farm of Glenasmole with their range of raw honeys.
The entrepreneurs are among 56 small companies nationwide that are starting to sell their food and drink produce through the Irish supermarket chain this week. Thanks to the Food Academy programme, a total of 323 small food producers now have products on sale through retail.
In July, a survey conducted by the Local Enterprise Office showed that Food Academy companies were employing or planning to employ a total of 1,500 people over the next 12 months. Since the programme began in 2013, more than 1,300 new products have been successfully trialled and consumers are expected to spend EUR25 million on Food Academy products in SuperValu stores in 2016.
Congratulating the local food producers on their breakthrough, Colm Ward head of Local Enterprise Office South Dublin said: “The Food Academy programme continues to be a successful partnership between the LEOs, Bord Bia and SuperValu. The businesses on the programme receive one-to-one mentoring and specialist training, helping them to understand their market and customer better. 323 food producers, including 56 new producers this week, now have the opportunity to sell their food and drink products through SuperValu stores, which will help those businesses grow and create more jobs locally.”
The Food Academy programme is delivered through Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities and the next programme intake is due to start on October 14th 2016.