200 small food producers secure retail listings worth €10m with Supervalu

Some 200 small food producers will secure retail listings worth €10 million with Supervalu, through the Food Academy programme in 2015, it was announced today.

Food Academy is a joint initiative between Bord Bia, the Local Enterprise Office Network and Supervalu to support small food companies in Ireland.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney announced that of the total Food Academy programme participants, 30 high performing small food companies will graduate to Food Academy Advance, the next stage of the programme.

Food Academy Advance provides these companies with access to expertise in branding, market research, business development and distribution, to allow them to scale up and secure national listings with SuperValu. This combination of both commercial and marketing insight assists in supporting producers through the challenging initial phases of business growth and strengthens their chances of future success.

The results of a research study conducted with Food Academy participants were also launched at the conference. The main findings included:

  • Almost 85% of Food Academy participants expect to employ new staff over the next 12 months, with almost a quarter expecting to take on more than three new staff during this period;
  • Almost half of Food Academy participants expect sales to increase by 50% or more over the next 12 months;
  • Approximately 70% of small food producers expect to launch new products during the next 12 months;
  • 98% of participants found the Food Academy programme beneficial to their business development;
  • Gaining access to finance is the number one priority for Food Academy participants;
  • Almost 80% of companies participating on the programme plan to develop their brand through social media.

“We are delighted to be able to work hand in hand with budding artisan food producers, providing them with the opportunity to trial their products in local Supervalu stores initially and then grow their partnership with us as they scale their business and supply more Supervalu stores, creating local jobs in the process,” said Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of Supervalu.