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Call open for upcoming food and drink producers to apply for a place on the Food Academy Programme

  • Food Academy supports 1,500 local jobs nationwide, 52 weeks of the year

  • Food Academy producers have sold a combined €200 million of products in SuperValu since 2013

  • Open for applications for new producers

10 March 2022
: The call is open for new and budding local Irish food and drink producers to join this year’s Food Academy Programme. This is a huge opportunity for those who have a fantastic idea for a food or beverage product but need support from experts in the industry to launch their business.

Food Academy, which is run by the Local Enterprise Offices with support from Bord Bia and SuperValu, gives start up food and drink producers an opportunity to get their products on retail shelves. The programme, which has been an established part of the Irish food industry for nine years now, supports 1,500 jobs nationwide.

Currently the Food Academy Programme supports 290 Irish food and drink producers. Their products are available 52 weeks of the year in their local SuperValu stores. Food Academy producers have sold a combined €200 million of produce in SuperValu since 2013.

In 2021, there was a 6 per cent growth in Food Academy sales, with participants delivering €30 million in retail sales.

Padraic McElwee, chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices added: “At the Local Enterprise Offices, the Food Academy Programme is a vital part of our supports to drive entrepreneurship in the food sector. It is the final element of our food pathway that brings entrepreneurs from idea right through to shelf, from the Digital School of Food, on to Food Starter and finally Food Academy. We have a fantastic history of food entrepreneurs and businesses in Ireland and we must continue to support this sector so if you are a new entrepreneur in the food or drinks sector we would urge you to get involved.”

Ian Allen, Managing Director, SuperValu said: “Food Academy helps new businesses to grow and get the support they need. With Food Academy, producers are on shelves 52 weeks of the year. By having this guarantee of shelf space, food producers can generate regular income and ensure their businesses thrive. We have so many examples of former Food Academy producers that have gone on to fantastic success, including The Happy Pear, Pizza Sorrento and SynerChi Kombucha. If you have a great idea for a food or beverage business, then this is your opportunity to sign up for Food Academy and make your dream a reality. At SuperValu, we are committed to supporting local Irish producers and we are ready and waiting to nurture new talent this year.”

Food and drinks producers, who are in the early stages of developing their business and would like to see their products on shelves in SuperValu are strongly encouraged to apply for the programme. The deadline for application for this year’s cycle is Friday, April 8th 2022, with the programme commencing in September 2022. Those interested in applying can contact their Local Enterprise Office and request an application form. Participants in Food Academy receive training in food safety, market research and branding, marketing, finance, sustainability, and business development.

Gillian Willis, Small Business Development Manager, Bord Bia said: “At Bord Bia, we focus on promoting Irish food, drink and horticulture that is produced to the highest quality standards. Food Academy provides invaluable support to participants to get their small businesses off the ground, and to reach consumers nationwide on SuperValu shelves. This commitment as well as the support provided by Food Academy gives food producers a huge advantage when starting out. We in Bord Bia will continue to provide comprehensive market knowledge, consumer insight and branding expertise to Food Academy participants nationwide.”

As part of its continued support for its Food Academy producers, five local food producers have been chosen from the 290 suppliers to be showcased in SuperValu stores nationwide over a three-week period. Since March 3rd, the products from the five chosen producers have been on sale in 150 SuperValu stores across Ireland.

The five companies chosen for nationwide distribution are King of Kefir, Co Dublin; The Wild Wok, Co Dublin; Jaru, Co Dublin; Dan & Monstro, Co Dublin; and Kilbeggan Farm, Co Westmeath. The products selected demonstrate the quality and range of choice that the food entrepreneurs of today are creating and delivering to shoppers across the country.

For more information on Food Academy, please visit:

Food Academy’s Irish food and drink start-ups are "optimistic"

SuperValu Calls on Producers to Apply for Food Academy Programme

SuperValu To Showcase Five Food Academy Producers Nationwide

SuperValu Calls On Local Producers To Join Food Academy Programme 2022

93% Expected Revenue Growth

Helping Hand to new brands and producers

Five Local Irish Producers to be Showcased

RTE News Report on Food Academy products