Food Academy course benefits local companies

By Maurice Garvey

A NUMBER of local food and drink companies have made the breakthrough into retail, with the help of the Local Enterprise Office South Dublin.

Easy Bake from Rathfarnham, Mama Nagi’s Authentic Indian Chilli Recipies of Knocklyon, and Olly’s Farm of Glenasmole, have all started to see their products on sale at Supervalu, via their participation in the Food Academy programme.

Food Academy Super Valu September 2016

Run over a series of workshops, the Food Academy programme is an initiative of the LEO’s, Bord Bia and SuperValu, to nurture new start-ups in the food and drink sector, and it focuses on areas such as business planning, consumer trends, packaging and finance.

Easy Bake and their flavoured Brownie mixes, Mama Nagi’s, and Olly’s Farm range of raw honeys, are among 56 small companies nationwide, that are starting to sell their food and drink produce through the Irish supermarket chain this week.

A total of 323 small food producers - formerly of the Food Academy - now have products on sale through retail.

In July, a survey conducted by the LEO showed 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 trialed and consumers are expected to spend €25 million on Food Academy products in SuperValu stores in 2016.

Colm Ward head of LEO 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.

"It will help those businesses grow and create more jobs locally.”

The next Food Academy programme is due to start in LEO South Dublin on October 14.

Visit www.localenterprise.ie, www.bordbiavantage.ie and www.supervalu.ie for further details.

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