Kilkenny food and drink producers going from ‘strength to strength’
Kilkenny’s food and drink producers are being urged to get involved in a new programme to help them make it big on the national and international stages.
Kilkenny Local Enterprise Office has issued a call out to food and drink producers across the county to join its successful Food Academy programme.
Now in its eighth-year, the Food Academy is a unique food business development programme organised between the 31 Local Enterprise Offices, which assists small producers through training in food safety, market research and branding, marketing, finance, sustainability and business development.
The programme is supported by SuperValu and Bord Bia. Some of the local companies who have taken advantage of the programme include Goatsbridge Trout, Mooncoin Beetroot, Highbank Orchards, the Little Mill Company, Bob and Joan’s Juicy Jams and The Fig Tree.
The Food Academy programme currently supports 290 Irish food and drink producers, supporting 1,500 jobs in local communities nationwide, generating some €170 million in sales.
Last year there was a 15% growth in SuperValu Food Academy sales, with participants earning €28 million.
Announcing the opening of applications for the 2021 Food Academy Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny said: “Since it was started up eight years ago by the Local Enterprise Offices, SuperValu and Bord Bia, the Food Academy programme has been hugely successful, going from strength to strength.
“It has helped hundreds of food and drink producers, like Mooncoin Beetroot, Goatsbridge Trout, Bob & Joan’s Juicy Jams in Thomastown, Highbank Orchards in Cuffesgrange and the Little Mill Company in Bennettsbridge.
“As local food and drink producers grow their sales through these programmes, Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny is on hand to support their expansion plans through further training, mentoring and financial assistance.”
The closing date for producers to apply to the Food Academy programme is Monday, April 26 and details are available at https://supervalu.ie/real-people/food-academy-programme.