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Food Start programme creates 300 jobs

Monday, June 30 15:50:09

Over 300 jobs will be created in food business startups as a result of the Food Academy Start programme, a collaborative initiative between the Local Enterprise Offices, Bord Bia and SuperValu.

The small food businesses secured SuperValu listings following their participation in the Food Academy Start programme, a collaboration between Bord Bia, SuperValu and Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs).

As stores are independently owned and operated, SuperValu retailers are able to source directly from local suppliers on a one-to-one basis, enabling these start-up food businesses to gain their first retail listings in stores in their community. SuperValu is also working with the companies involved to get their products listed in a cluster of nearby stores in order to set them on a long term path to supplying their network of 223 stores.

Speaking at the Cork and Kerry Food Forum at City Hall Cork, a showcase of food producers from Cork & Kerry, Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Simon Coveney Said: "Ireland's artisan and specialty food industry is playing a unique and important role in our economic recovery. This is evidenced today by the dynamic growth in food startups and food production companies. The opportunity to support and drive this growth has been leveraged by development agencies including Bord Bia and Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in partnership with SuperValu, to ensure that food businesses in Ireland are equipped with the appropriate information, advice and skills to be shelf ready. These planned 300 jobs are predominantly in enterprises employing fewer than five people, mostly in start-up food businesses in urban and rural areas, and will further enhance the reputation of our food sector nationally and internationally."

The announcement was made at the largest artisan food market, the Cork and Kerry Food Forum, which hosted a trade conference attended by over 400 food industry representatives, a showcase and food market with tastings and cookery demonstrations for more than 1,000 members of the public, who turned up to support local producers.

Speaking at the event, Martin Kelleher, SuperValu Managing Director, said: "At SuperValu, we are delighted to announce, that through our partnership with Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices on the Food Academy Start programme, more than 200 small food businesses will work with their local SuperValu retailers, resulting in sales worth E5 million in the next year and leading to the creation of 300 jobs."