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Monday 22 September 2014

Food Academy Start: New initiative expected to create 300 jobs

Published 30/06/2014 | 15:06

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Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Simon Coveney
Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Simon Coveney

A new initiative involving small food businesses, SuperValu and State agencies is expected to create 300 jobs.

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The Food Academy Start, a scheme involving Local Enterprise Offices, Bord Bia and SuperValu, has helped link up small producers with the retailer in deals worth €5m.

"These planned 300 jobs are predominantly in enterprises employing fewer than five people, mostly in start-up food businesses in urban and rural areas, and will further enhance the reputation of our food sector nationally and internationally," said Agriculture Minister Sion Coveney.

SuperValu said it is also working with the companies involved to establish them as long term suppliers to their 223 stores nationwide.

Speaking at the Cork and Kerry Food Forum, Martin Kelleher, managing director of the supermarket chain, said more than 200 small food businesses are involved in the scheme linking local producers with local stores.

"By matching our stores with start-up food businesses in their area, we have been able to assist with the creation of three hundred jobs across Ireland," he said.

"This underlines the local multiplier effect of the community retail model, as every time someone shops in our stores, their money goes back into the local economy."

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