Food Starter Programme

The Local Enterprise Offices in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon are joining together to host a regional Food Starter Programme for those with a food idea or at a very early stage of set up. 

Training Objectives
The objective of the programme is to provide the participants with base knowledge of what is involved in setting up a food business and the content will be designed to provide the participants with information which will allow them to avoid the pit falls normally associated with this journey.


It is also envisaged that on completion of the programme, participants will be in a position to start their own food business and will understand all of the costs associated with this and how they will be funded.

Those intending to apply for the Food Academy programme in March will also understand how to position their application to optimise the chance of success.


Training objectives as follows:

  • Participants obtain new skills and knowledge to support their food business startup.
  • Early-stage businesses become familiar with protocols and legal requirements to successfully set up a food business.
  • Participants leave the programme with sufficient knowledge to be able to start their food business.
    Increase the number of food startup businesses who progress forward to the Food Academy and other route to market programmes.
  • By supporting new food business startups, increase the diversity and range of products for consumers in the local region.

The programme workshops will be delivered online over 4 half days. 

12th February + 14th February (2pm - 5pm)

26th February + 29th February (2pm - 5pm)


Session One

The focus of day one is on ensuring that the producer understands the research required to ensure their idea is feasible and also to help them recognise crowded categories.

  • The workshop facilitator will open the workshop getting each producer to briefly describe their idea and will give them a brief overview of the category that product sits in, together with advice on what to look out for.
  • Researching your business idea Understanding how to conduct research for your food business and how to complete a food business feasibility study.
  • Interpreting Irish food market trends and drivers
  • Identifying sources of research to be gathered
  • Understanding the difference between research conducted by the producer, and that already created by third parties.
  • Access is given to all participants to Bord Bias Thinking House, and instructions given on what request to make for each participant product.

 Session Two

This second workshop covers two topics expensively i.e., food safety and route to market planning.

  • Food safety overview
  • Understanding the registration process and the role of the EHO.
  • Knowing how to use the FSAI food safety resources.
  • Identifying legislation that governs packaging and labelling.
  • Selecting the right channel to market for your product
  • Exploring all routes to market including the following

Session Three

The focus for Workshop 3 is finance and funding and the creation of the all-important cost model The content will include:

  • Understanding the basics of food business finance
  • Creating awareness of the importance of the role getting the business accountant involved
  • Developing a cost-plus model
  • Understanding all of the costs input including fixed and variable costs
  • Reviewing a food case study to understand cash flow, profit & loss etc
  • Costing and managing finance
  • State agency supports and funding.
  • Potential grant support and how to access.

Session Four

This final workshop focuses on creating an exceptional brand and building that brand.

  • How to brief a brand design company
  • The difference between branding and graphic design
  • Exploring all of the tools to help with brand building e.g. social media, free PR etc.
  • Distribution and logistics
  • Identifying a unique positioning for the product
  • Understanding branding and communicating the key brand messages

If you require any further information, please contact Stephanie Colombani on