Food Academy Programme

The Food Academy training programme is a 2-4 month programme for established or small-scale food or drink production business. The Food Academy is an initiative developed through collaboration between Bord Bia, Local Enterprise Offices and Supervalu.

The programme provides integrated support and training to food companies as they progress on their journey of growth from start-up to national distribution and export. The Food Academy Start programme is a comprehensive training programme which consists of a number of modules covering Finance, Distribution, the Market and the Consumer, Production and Marketing. Participating businesses receive up to 5 hours of mentoring to assist with the application of the programme knowledge. 

Local Enterprise Office Donegal in association with Sligo and Leitrim Local Enterprise Offices plan on delivering a regional Food Academy Programme commencing 30th of August 2018. 

Programme Objectives

  • Develop an in-depth knowledge of the tools which can be used to assess market background.
  • Understand core technical issues facing your food or drink business.
  • Learn how to grow sales for your product range through better branding and packaging design.
  • Gain all of the tools and knowledge necessary to launch and build a successful food business in Ireland.


  • Understanding Consumers
  • Market Background
  • Research and Data
  • Marketing Strategy & Segmentation


Module One will see participants develop an in-depth knowledge of the tools which can be used to assess the market background (target consumers, routes to market) and how to develop an effective marketing strategy for their products.


  • Introduction to Finance
  • Pricing
  • New Product Development
  • Food Safety and Food Labelling
  • Packaging
  • Managing Human Resources


Module Two participants will come to understand the core technical issues facing food and drink business. The module will focus on how to run a business correctly and legally to maintain effective management and growth.


  • Branding and Pack Design
  • Routes to Market
  • Buyer Meetings
  • Marketing Plans
  • Promoting with Confidence
  • Public Relations


These Modules will look at further elements of the marketing mix. Participants will gain a good understanding of the different elements of the marketing mix and how the use of better packaging and branding will drive profitable sales.

Programme Dates

  • 30th August 2018
  • 13th September 2018
  • 18th October 2018
  • 8th November 2018
  • 9th January 2019
  • 10th January 2019

Programme Format

Mentoring is a significant aspect of the programme with one mentoring visit taking place after each module, in conjunction with the content delivered during the previous training day.

Who can Participate?

The Food Academy is aimed at established or those in the early stages of their food or drink business who wish to grow their business and potentially sell into a multiple. Selection criteria will apply and an application must be completed for each business. This is then followed up by a telephone discussion with James Burke and Associates. 

How to apply?

Pre-Approval is required, application form must be emailed to 

How Much Does it Cost?

The Academy costs €150 and is inclusive of all course materials, training and mentoring provided.

For Further Information

Please contact Eve-Anne McCarron Email:  or Tel: 074 916 0735