Monday 22 January 2018

Three businesses from Wexford are founders of co-op

David Tucker

THREE Wexford businesses are are among the seven founding members of the newly-launched Irish Food Co-op, which aims to revolutionlise the way small, artisan-driven businesses go to market.

The seven member group says the launch marks the beginning of a new era for Irish food producers and retailers alike; comprising award winning artisan food companies, this newly formed entity brings together a wealth of food expertise, market knowledge and superior quality products.

The three Wexford members are Carrigbyrne Farmhouse cheese, Killowen Farm Yogurts and O'Neill's Dry Cure Bacon, all managing successful food businesses in their own right, but who understand that by working together, they are even stronger.

At the core of the Irish Food Co-op members rests a passion and a commitment to work together for the benefit of all.

Under the newly formed entity, food producers will now deliver their products to one central warehouse where distribution and administration will be effectively managed. While the focus for the initial six months will be on deliveries to retail outlets based primarily in Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow, Waterford, Wicklow and Dublin, the strategy has always been to provide support for food companies and retailers at a national level.

The Co-op says benefits of such an initiative to Irish retailers are considerable; retailers will receive one delivery and one invoice from multiple producers, significantly reducing the time and administrative cost associated with dealing with individual companies.

The venture was made possible through funding provided by Kilkenny Leader Partnership, and thus it was fitting that the event was officially opened by KLP CEO, Declan Rice, who said it was only is only the first step in this exciting journey for Irish producers.

'As the Irish Food Co-op expands and evolves, so too will the support from our partnership,' said Mr. Rice.

This sentiment was echoed by Eoghan Hegarty, General Manager of the Irish Food Co-op, who said the innovative approach opens up opportunities for smaller local producers to increase their market footprint both in Ireland and internationally.

The Irish Food Co-op project is a start-up funded and supported by Kilkenny Leader Partnership, which is comprised of representatives of most of the Leader Companies and Local Enterprise Offices from Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary and Waterford.

It is based in Piltown, County Kilkenny.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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