SuperValu announced today that products from 15 new Irish food producers who have successfully completed the Food Academy programme will be on sale in SuperValu stores.
One of the food start-ups to list in SuperValu is Thanks Plants, a 100% plant-based, handmade vegan sausages brand. Produced locally in Ireland, Thanks Plants is an option for vegans and anyone trying to reduce their meat intake, and is available in varieties including apple and sage, sundried tomato and herb, and a frankfurter option.
“Over the last six months, with the help of Supervalu’s Food Academy, I’ve been working steadily to develop a unique product,” says Aisling Cullen, who set up Thanks Plants. “Without the help of Food Academy, I would not be where I am now. It has given huge support to all the producers involved, and I recommend it for any new producer starting out.”
Sustainable food production
Some of the other suppliers include Larkins Farm, Muckross Creamery and Loch Measc. These new suppliers reflect a shift in thinking towards sustainable, local food production and comprise healthy, plant-based, and gluten-free offerings.
Now in its seventh year, SuperValu Food Academy is a food business development programme between SuperValu, Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs). Participants in the programme receive training in market research and branding, food safety, marketing, finance, and business development.
Training & mentoring
The programme helps early-stage Irish food and drink businesses to get their start in the food retail sector with their first supermarket listing in SuperValu. For the 15 food start-ups, today marks the culmination of a journey that began back in October 2019 when they started the SuperValu Food Academy training programme and completed a series of training and mentoring courses.
Food Academy producers have sold a combined €140 million of produce in SuperValu since 2014, supporting 1,500 jobs in the economy. To date, 620 producers have come through the programme, with 272 producers currently enrolled in the programme.
The SuperValu Food Academy programme is now open for applications until Friday, 26 June 2020. To apply, contact your Local Enterprise Office for an application form on www.localenterprise.ie
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