Regional Food Academy Programme 2015

Food Academy Logo

Food Academy Start is a 4 month programme for those seeking to grow a small-scale food or drink production business. The Food Academy is a new initiative developed through a collaboration between Bord Bia, the 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 four modules covering Finance, Distribution, the Market and the Consumer and Production and Marketing.

Local Enterprise Office Sligo in association with Donegal and Leitrim Local Enterprise Offices plan on delivering a regional Food Academy Programme commencing in October 2015. Depending on numbers, approximately 5 Sligo based business will be selected to participate. The fee for participation is €150 per business. This will cover 4 monthly Food Academy Workshops plus mentoring, trials etc.

Programme Objectives

  • To develop an in-depth knowledge of the tools which can be used to assess market background.
  • To understand core technical issues facing your food or drink business.
  • To learn how to grow sales for your product range through better branding and packaging design.
  • To 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

To be Confirmed

Programme Format

Mentoring is an important part of the programme.

Who can Participate?

The Food Academy is aimed at 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.

How to apply?

As it is a competitive process pre-approval is required, please complete this application form below and email it to with your expression of interest. No fee is required until candidates are selected.

How Much will it Cost?

When selected candidates will be required to pay a fee of €150 to secure their place on the programme. To go to shop trials participants may have to invest in brand development.

If you are based in Sligo, please contact us to express an interest in the next food academy programme by emailing us at or by completing the application form in the link below.

Food Academy Start Programme Flyer 2015

Food Academy Start Application Form 2015