A lack of financial advice and support is the biggest challenge that Irish food producers face when trying to grow their businesses, a recent survey conducted on behalf of the Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards has revealed.
The 'Producer Power in 2014’ study found that an alarming 70% of small to medium sized producers agreed with these findings, while a further 65% stated that national and international producers distribution is also a major problem.
“Unfortunately the problem seems to be that the impact of Agency support is not being fully leveraged because of difficulties accessing financial advice and support on the one hand and being able gain distribution to new markets on the other” said Artie Clifford, Chairman of Blas na hEireann.
The financial issues that plague smaller businesses in particular are not just about accessing additional funding, but also about being paid in a timely manner and being offered fairer credit terms by the larger retailers.
“Agencies on both a local and national should be in a position to give financial advice to producers on a one to one basis; everything from how to develop business plans, work out production costs, forecast accurately the amount of financial investment needed for expansion, as well as how to approach and work with financial institutions and retailers in order to guarantee the best on-going results,” said Clifford.
“Financial assistance through the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and increasing the offer of R&D tax credits for the self-employed would also be extremely useful.”
The launch of the 7th Annual Blas na hEireann 2014 Awards took place at The Westbury Hotel earlier today, where Minister Simon Coveney made the opening address. For more information, visit www.irishfoodawards.com
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Nicole Balamine