Food Businesses Benefit from Innovative Training Programme

Food Academy Start ProgrammeThe Food Academy Start programme is a new enterprise training scheme specially developed by the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) to nurture start-up food businesses.

The programme was recently completed by 14 participants drawn from a diverse range of food business right across Cork (South & North Cork and the City).

The programme was targeted at new and early stage food businesses. Its aim was to provide Cork food entrepreneurs with a range of essential food marketing skills as well as brand development guidance and support services to enable them take their businesses to the next level.

Food Academy Start is supported by Bord Bia, SuperValu and the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) - a new streamlined service that replaces the City and County Enterprise Boards and provides a first stop shop for entrepreneurs.

Joe Burke at The Local Enterprise Office (LEO South Cork) spoke about the significance of the food sector to the local economy.

“The food industry plays a vital role in the local economy and it is of huge significance to Ireland’s economic recovery. The Irish food and drink sector experienced very strong growth in 2013 with exports approaching €10 billion for the first time, demonstrating that there is growing demand for Irish food and drink products on the global market. Small and medium food businesses are at the cutting edge of the industry and they are ideally placed to create sustainable job growth in communities all over the region. The Food Academy Start programme has been specially designed to equip entrepreneurs with a range of marketing skills and supports that can help them to grow successful businesses.” 

The Food Academy Start programme is designed with a commercial focus and fits around the needs of start-up businesses. Its range of intensive workshops will provide participants with business support and knowledge including consumer insight, technical and commercial advice, resource planning and marketing skills.

At the end of the programme all participants made sales pitch to a SuperValu representative with a view to securing an initial local listing.

This is the first time that the programme has been run in Cork.

For more information about the Food Academy Start Programme please contact 

Joe Burke

Local Enterprise Office South Cork

Unit 6a, South Ring Business Park

Kinsale Road


T    (021) 4 975 281

F    (021) 4 975 287