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Food Starter Programme

The Food Starter programme is an online 4 x 1/2 day programme designed to help those with a food idea, or those at a very early stage of starting up a food business. It will cover everything from an overview of the Irish food sector to the specifics of starting a food production business.

The next programme will be run over four half-day workshops on 24th & 26th April and 8th & 10th May 2023.

(Please note this programme is for Midland (Offaly, Laois, Longford & Westmeath) based participants only. If you are outside these areas - Please check your Local Enterprise Office's website for details of their next Food Starter programme for your location). 

Note: Must participate 24th & 26th April and 8th & 10th May afternoons 14:00 - 17:30.

NB: Delivery of the Food Starter Programme will now be online. Delivery is now divided into four half-day sessions. 

Food Starter

This ‘Food Starter programme’ is a short programme (provided online) designed to help those with a food idea, or those at a very early stage of starting up a food business (typically the first 24 months). The objective is to provide the participants with a base knowledge of what is involved in setting up a food business. The content is designed to provide you with information which will allow you to avoid the pit falls normally associated with this journey. (The programme content assumes you have the required business knowledge to run your enterprise e.g. you must already understand the basics of setting up a business, tax compliance rules, creating a business plan etc.) While certain aspects of the programme are relevant to those setting up cafes/restaurants, the core programme content is designed for those producing food to be sold through third parties i.e. food producers.

For those considering applying for the Food Academy Programme in the future, this programme will provide an excellent opportunity to boost your chances of securing a place.

Sessions Content

Sessions One and Two

The first two half-days will focus on providing participants with an overview of the dynamics of the food sector in Ireland and getting objectives for your project clear in your mind. The content will include:

  • Feedback on your product idea from the workshop facilitator
  • 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
  • Food safety overview
  • Selecting the right channel to market for your product

Sessions Three and Four

These half-day workshops will focus on the more practical aspects of setting up a food business. The content will include:

  • Costing and managing finance
  • State agency supports and funding
  • Distribution and logistics
  • Identifying a unique positioning for the product
  • Understanding branding and communicating the key brand messages
  • Supports available for your food journey and where to next

The programme is run over four half-days. Participants must attend all sessions. 

Workshop Timing

14:00 - 17:30



The Trainers

This programme is run by James Burke & Associates who have a wealth of industry experience in both the retail and food service sectors.

Book Here

For Further enquiries please contact Rose McKenna at