Galway’s food and drink producers looking for a way to bring their products to a wider audience are being invited to join the Food Academy programme.
This hugely successful business development programme provides training for producers that will help them make their way onto supermarket shelves.
Now in its ninth-year, Food Academy is a collaboration between the Local Enterprise Offices, SuperValu, and Bord Bia.
Participants in the programme receive training in food safety, market research and branding, marketing, finance, sustainability and business development.
Breda Fox, Head of Enterprise with LEO Galway said “Since it was started up nine 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 many up-and-coming Galway businesses, she added like Gran Grans Foods, Solaris Botanicals Tea, Colleran’s Butchers, Kylemore Farmhouse Cheese, and Aran Islands Goats Cheese.
Breda said that the programme has helped these businesses to, “get their products market-ready, giving them an opportunity to sell to a nationwide audience.”
The Food Academy programme currently supports 290 Irish food and drink producers generating €200m in sales.
In 2020, there was a 6% growth in Food Academy product purchases at SuperValu stores with participants delivering €30m in sales.
SuperValu also provide successful participants with the opportunity to trial their product in their local stores for a period of 20 weeks.
Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu, said “By having this guarantee of shelf space, food producers can generate regular income and ensure their businesses thrive.”
“If you have a great idea for a food or beverage business, then this is your opportunity to sign up for Food Academy and make your dream a reality.”
Gillian Willis, Small Business Development Manager at Bord Bia added “Food Academy provides invaluable support to participants to get their small businesses off the ground, and to reach consumers nationwide.”
“This commitment as well as the support provided by Food Academy gives food producers a huge advantage when starting out.”
“We in Bord Bia will continue to provide comprehensive market knowledge, consumer insight and branding expertise to Food Academy participants nationwide.”
The Food Academy is aimed at those in the early to mid-stages of developing a food or drink business who have already developed a product, trialed it in the marketplace & are looking to scale up and grow their business.
The deadline for growing businesses to apply for the 2022/23 Food Academy Programme is April 8. Application can be made online here.