Tipperary-based company encourages start-up and early-stage food and drink business to apply for Food Academy, as SuperValu launches the 2024 programme

Clonmore Farm, a Tipperary-based company is encouraging start-up and early-stage food and drink Irish business to apply for the Food Academy 2024The programme is actively seeking applications from budding start-up and early-stage food and drink producers across Ireland. Now in its 11th year, this extended commitment highlights the sustained success and positive impact the Food Academy has had on the local Irish food and drink industry.

Tipperary-based company encourages start-up and early-stage food and drink business to apply for Food Academy, as SuperValu launches the 2024 programme

Clonmore Farm, James Quinn Barbara Quinn

The Food Academy is a unique and tailored business development initiative for start-up and early-stage producers, which is supported by SuperValu and the Local Enterprise Office. This programme not only helps indigenous businesses but also contributes to the overall growth and sustainability of the Irish food industry. Additionally, it serves as a platform for showcasing the excellence of quality Irish products and the innovative spirit of food and drink producers across the nation.

Speaking about their business and experience with Food Academy, James and Barbara Quinn, founders of Clonmore Farm said, “We’ve always loved the outdoor life, starting out our professional growing career within the mushroom industry. Farming is rooted in both of our family’s history for generations and shaped our identity today. Following the closure of our mushroom growing business due to Brexit, this gave us an opportunity to follow our dream to produce organic and healthy food. We now grow a range of organic salads and vegetables in the townland of Clonmore. Our produce is free from all pesticides and artificial fertilisers, hand-picked with care.

In the spring of 2020, we applied to the Food Academy programme learning about food safety, marketing, planning and supply. This programme empowered us to consistently offer our flavoursome range of organic foods, such as salad leaves, kale, scallions, and tomatoes, throughout the year. By doing so, we not only upheld our commitment to delivering quality produce but also contributed to minimising reliance on imported goods.”

Over the past 11 years, more than 1,000 producers from all 26 counties of Ireland have successfully completed the Food Academy programme. This initiative has provided these entrepreneurs with a unique opportunity to showcase their innovative products on SuperValu shelves all year round. Since its inception in 2013, Food Academy producers have collectively generated €230 million in product sales within SuperValu, supporting 1,500 jobs in the economy.

The Food Academy recognises the importance of innovative and creative individuals within the food sector, acknowledging their role in shaping and advancing the industry. SuperValu’s commitment to supporting these entrepreneurs is evident in its longstanding dedication to the Food Academy programme. This initiative presents a particularly positive opportunity for start-up and early-stage businesses at a time when the challenges and costs of doing business are heightened.

Apply for the Food Academy today through your Local Enterprise Office: https://www.localenterprise.ie/FoodSupports/Food-Academy-Programme/

The closing date for applications is April 5th, 2024

Speaking about the Food Academy recruitment, Ciara McClafferty, Trading Director, SuperValu said: “The Food Academy is a brilliant partnership between SuperValu and the Local Enterprise Office, which continues to go from strength to strength since its inception 11 years ago. Through this programme, producers are given an excellent opportunity to gain invaluable experience, while being given exposure in SuperValu stores throughout the country. At SuperValu, support of local and Irish producers is in our DNA, and our involvement in Food Academy further emphasises our dedication to fostering local talent and businesses within the food industry. Consumer tastes and behaviours are constantly evolving, and the Food Academy is meeting these needs, being centred around nurturing innovative food and drink producers to deliver great tasting products for our shoppers and the Irish market. We’d encourage all start-up and early-stage producers to apply today.”

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