SuperValu has announced it is calling on small food and drinks producers around the country to enter its Food Academy programme.
Now in its eighth year, Food Academy is a unique food business development programme between SuperValu, Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs).
Participants in the programme receive training in food safety, market research and branding, marketing, finance, sustainability and business development, the food retailer said.
Food Academy Programme
The Food Academy currently supports 290 Irish food and drink producers including 140 female entrepreneurs, generating €170 million in sales, the company said.
According to SuperValu, the programme supports 1,500 jobs in local communities nationwide.
"At SuperValu we believe in local business and are proud to continue to support local producers across the country. In collaboration with the Local Enterprise Office Network and Bord Bia, the Food Academy is a great way for us to help new businesses to grow and get the support they need," said Carmel Biggane, Food Academy manager, SuperValu.
“The programme allows us to use our experience to help small businesses through their journey from start up to getting their products on our shelves all year round. We’ve had great success with the Food Academy in recent years, we look forward to welcoming new producers this year and continuing to support local communities. I would call on local food producers across Ireland to get involved and see how Food Academy can help you grow,” she added.
Food Academy Sales
In 2020, there was a 15% growth in SuperValu Food Academy sales with participants earning €28 million.
Welcoming the increase in Food Academy sales through SuperValu in 2020, Tómas Hayes of the Local Enterprise Offices 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 producers to get their products market-ready, giving them an opportunity to sell to a nationwide audience,” he added.
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