Dublin-based company encourages start-up and early-stage food and drink business to apply for Food Academy


Homespun, a Dublin-based food 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.

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 her business and experience with Food Academy, Erica Sheehan, founders of Homespun said, “At Homespun, our mission is to create healthier alternatives to foods we all know and love, and SuperValu has played a significant role in our product innovation journey. The Food Academy has significantly elevated my entrepreneurial skills, securing national listings and exposure for our Quinoa-based granolas and low-sugar Chicory Syrup. Our latest creation, a range of Irish-made oat bars, will be available in SuperValu stores nationwide from the end of April. These bars offer a contemporary twist on traditional flapjacks, free from excess sugar, wheat, or dairy. We’re delighted to have the support of SuperValu once again for our new products. I wholeheartedly recommend the Food Academy to any aspiring food and drink startups; it’s been a game-changer for us.”

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.”

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.



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