Some 65 jobs are to be created in 30 food business start-ups in the Cork Kerry region as a result of the Food Academy, Supervalu says.

The Food Academy is a collaboration between Bord Bia, Supervalu, Local Enterprise Offices of Cork and Kerry, Cork and Kerry County Council and Cork City County.

The Cork and Kerry food producers who participated in Food Academy will generate sales worth €1.2m in 2015, it says.

Speaking at the Cork Kerry Forum, where the jobs announcement was made, the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, said that confidence and self-belief as innovators in the food and drinks sector are critical success factors for start-up enterprises.

“Food Academy – a unique collaboration between Bord Bia, Supervalu and the Local Enterprise Offices – is helping startups to bring their innovative ideas to market stage.

“The net effect will be the creation of 65 jobs in 2015. A collaborative approach is the key to building success,” the Minister said.

The jobs announcement was made at the trade conference which was attended by over 400 food industry representatives and buyers and welcomed over 5,000 people to the public market on Sunday.

Also speaking at the event, Martin Kelleher, Supervalu Managing Director, said this is a real endorsement to the Food Academy initiative which allows us to bring community based food start-ups to the retail market and provides them with the potential to grow their businesses even further.

“It is great to nurture the energy and passion of these entrepreneurial producers and harness this into producing a range of products that we are proud to stock on our shelves.

“By matching Supervalu stores with start-up food business in their area, the Food Academy programme is providing a real boost for local economies throughout Ireland,” he said.

As Supervalu stores are independently owned and operated, Supervalu retailers are able to source directly from local suppliers on a one-to-one basis, enabling these start-up food businesses to gain their first retail listings in stores in their community, it says.

Jimmy Allen’s food business, DeRoiste, which produces black and white puddings in the heart of the gaeltacht Ballyvourney has taken on five new staff members and Maurice Gilbert and Donogh Raftery from Ballyhoura Apple Farm in Mallow have also taken on two new staff members already, it says.