Roscommon food and drink producers invited to join Food Academy

Local Enterprise Office Roscommon is inviting food and drink producers from the county to join the hugely successful Food Academy programme, and follow in the footsteps of local companies such as Honest Cakes and Breads, Gannon Eggs and Poultry and Gairdín Bia, which have previously taken part.

Now in its eighth year, Food Academy is a unique food business development programme between the thirty-one Local Enterprise Offices, including Local Enterprise Office Roscommon, SuperValu and Bord Bia. Participants in the programme receive training in food safety, market research and branding, marketing, finance, sustainability and business development.

The Food Academy programme currently supports 290 Irish food and drink producers, including 140 female entrepreneurs, generating €170m in sales. In 2020, there was a 15% growth in SuperValu Food Academy sales, with participants earning €28m. The Food Academy programme supports 1,500 jobs in local communities nationwide and local producers are now being encouraged to apply for the 2021 programme before Friday, April 23rd.

Welcoming the increase in Food Academy sales through SuperValu in 2020, Louise Ward (Local Enterprise Office, Roscommon) 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 up and coming food and drink producers to get their products market-ready, giving them an opportunity to sell to a nationwide audience.

“The Food Academy is part of a suite of Local Enterprise Office supports designed for food and drink entrepreneurs in Ireland, such as the Digital School of Food and Food Starter programmes, both aimed at getting those with food ideas off the ground. As local food and drink producers grow their sales through these programmes, Local Enterprise Office Roscommon is on hand to support their expansion plans through further training, mentoring and financial assistance”.

The Food Academy Programme is now open for applications until Friday, April 23rd 2021, and the subsidised cost to participate is €200 per company. To apply, interested food and drink producers from Co. Roscommon are encouraged to contact Local Enterprise Office Roscommon for an application form by emailing localenterprise@roscommoncoco.ie or by visiting www.LocalEnterprise.ie/Roscommon. Further information about the Food Academy is also available at www.supervalu.ie/real-people/food-academy-programme.