...Making It Happen

Kildare County Council calls on local producers to apply for 2024 Food Academy

Kildare County Council calls on local producers to apply for 2024 Food Academy

Supported by Local Enterprise Offices, SuperValu and Bord Bia


Are you developing or producing a food or drinks product?  Do you have ambition to scale up and grow your business? 

If you are a food or drink business with a product you believe merits a space on the shelves of one of Ireland’s leading retailers, then we would like to hear from you! 

Since the launch of the Food Academy Programme in 2014, it has proven to be a catalyst for many well-known food and drink brands such as The Happy Pear, Strong Roots, Dr. Coy’s Health Foods, Absolute Nutrition, Solaris Tea, and Hope Beer.  Producers that have come through the programme have sold approximately €140 million worth of produce and supported 1,500 jobs across the country. The Food Academy is a tailored Food Business Development Programme aimed at early to mid-stage food and drink business owners.  The training programme will help participants develop skills in marketing, finance, food safety and sustainability. 

Locally, The Wonderful Barn, a family run, organic growers’ business in Leixlip, completed the programme in 2022.  Their organic garlic is a sustainable high-quality product replacing imports in the Irish market.  


Speaking about his experience of the programme, Bernard Cronin of the Wonderful Barn said “It’s a great opportunity to get your product out there. It’s a way of developing and consolidating your brand with a real chance of making it a household name, now, in every shop I supply, my product flies off the shelves.”

Applicants to the programme will be supported by the Kildare Local Enterprise Office and will have access to the expertise and advice of Bord Bia.  Successful participants will enjoy the opportunity to have their products available for purchase in their local SuperValu.

Jacqui McNabb Head of Kildare County Council’s Enterprise Office stated; “The Food Academy is a unique opportunity for quality food and drink producers in Ireland to secure their place in the market. The programme has added an additional focus on sustainability meeting businesses goals and consumer preference for a greater focus on food provenance.”

The Food Academy is one of a comprehensive suite of supports available through your Local Enterprise Office. Other supports available include the Digital School of Food and the Food Starter Programme, which enables food entrepreneurs to develop their food business idea from start up to the growth phase, providing expertise and guidance to make those first steps into creating a new food or drink business.  

For further information and to apply for the Food Academy Programme 2024, visit

Closing date for applications is Friday 5th April 2024.