Looking to give your agri food business a ‘Kick Start’?

Irish food and drink suppliers are being encouraged to send in an application to ‘Kick Start’, a supplier development programme run by Lidl Ireland.

The Kick Start programme, which is run in conjunction with Bord Bia, will offer successful applicants the opportunity to stock their products in Lidl stores across the country.

Potential participants are being asked to get their applications in as soon as possible – having opened for applications last Monday (March 12), the closing deadline for entries is Easter Sunday, April 1.

Having invested €200,000 so far in Ireland and Northern Ireland, the joint initiative aims to allow small agri food businesses to grow their brands and build up supply networks around the country.

Shortlisting

Lidl’s judging panel will choose a number of successful shortlisted products for the promotion. Successful suppliers will receive an order with a guaranteed quantity for the two-week promotional period.

Suppliers will then be invited to take part in two diverse seminars aimed at helping them through the process and teaching them the skills to help grow their business.

All selected suppliers will be invited to attend two free, comprehensive seminars covering: quality control; packaging; marketing; and PR building – as well as other important aspects of business development, according to Lidl.

In addition to these seminars the chosen suppliers will be fully supported by Lidl in terms of packaging.

High-potential suppliers will be chosen to take part in the development program, which will focus on assisting the companies to develop a product base suitable to stock on the 192 Lidl shelves around the country.

Up to three products will also be chosen by the German retail giant to export across Europe.

Previous participant companies include: Cahill Cheese, from Co. Limerick; Cork-based Naturespharm; Connolly Meats from Co. Monaghan; and Roscommon firm Black Donkey Brewing – which currently exports to the US and Europe, having been established in 2014.

For those interested, more information can be found on Lidl’s website.