Food Academy producers graduate today

Small companies secure €10m of retail listings with SuperValu

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said today that the 200 small food producers who have participated in Food Academy, a Bord Bia, SuperValu and Local Enterprise Office network initiative to support small food producers will secure retail listings worth £10 million with SuperValu in 2015.

The supermarket chain’s community retailer model allows it to give space on shelves in individual stores to small local businesses, allowing them to grow their business gradually and, if successful, expand to regional and national distribution.

The 30 businesses singled out as having “high potential” in the class of 2014 will progress to the advanced stage of the programme, where they will have access to expertise in branding, market research, business development and distribution, with the aim of scaling up their production and securing national listings with the supermarket chain.

Job creation, expansion and new product development are key areas for the 200 participants, while access to finance remains an issue for many. Some 85 per cent expect to employ additional staff over the next 12 months, with a quarter of those expecting to employ more than three new staff members. New product launches will be undertaken by 70 per cent, and half of the 200 companies expect sales to increase by 50 per cent in the next year.


The 30 companies progressing to the advanced academy are: Atlantis Seafoods Ltd, Wexford (chilled seafood); Beechlawn Organic Farm, Co Galway (organic vegetables); BiteSize Ltd, Co Cork (frozen desserts); Boutique Bake, Dublin (cake mix); Cool Bean Company, Dublin (chilled ready meals ); DeRoiste Puddings, Co Cork (breakfast puddings); Everest Granola Products, Dublin (granola); Honest Bakery, Co Roscommon (gluten-free cakes); Improper Butter, Dublin (flavoured butter); Janet's Country Fayre, Co Wicklow (Italian sauces); Lily's Tea Shop, Co Louth (green tea); Maria Lucia Bakes, Dublin (granola); Moran's Homestore, Co Cavan (jam/preserves); Nobo Ltd, Dublin (dairy-free ice cream); Old Mac Donnells Farm Ltd, Co Wicklow (yoghurts and speciality cheeses); O'Neills Dry Cure Bacon, Co Wexford (bacon); Patels Authentic Spices, Dublin (spice); Rafferty's Fine Foods, Louth (flavoured sea flakes); Jennings Potato Bread, Cavan (potato bread); Sushi King, Dublin (sushi); Tea & Coffee Warehouse Ltd, Co Waterford (coffee); The Cake and Crumb, Co Monaghan (cake mix); The Farmers Table, Co Cork (frozen potato meals); The Happy Pear Living Foods, Co Wicklow (pesto and organic superfoods); The Tipperary Kitchen Ltd, Co Tipperary (bakery treats ); Trudies Catering Kitchen Ltd, Co. Wexford (salads); Uncle Aidan's Flour, Co Wexford (wholemeal flour); Wild about Foods, Co Wexford (pesto and wild seasonal artisan foods); Fastnet Catch, Cork (gluten-free battered and breaded fish); Wicklow Rapeseed Oil Ltd, Wicklow (rapeseed oil)

Marie Claire Digby

Marie Claire Digby

Marie Claire Digby is Senior Food Writer at The Irish Times