Nearly 30 food start-ups edge closer to developing export product

Export ambitions edged a little closer to reality yesterday for 28 start-up food companies participating in Bord Bia’s Food Works programme in the Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin.

The food entrepreneurs attended workshops with expert advisers from Teagasc, Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia, edging them along the route from food idea to a real marketable product for export to EU retail markets.

Bord Bia food and beverages director Tara McCarthy said: “There was a great buzz of excitement about the event. We will have 28 feasibility studies ready by the end of October. The best of these ideas, perhaps 10 to 15 companies, will then go on to the next phase.

“We are looking to ensure that the best ideas are developed into scaleable exporting food businesses. Because of that, we are putting these companies through their paces quite robustly.”

Yesterday, the participants were given guidance by Cooley Distillery founder John Teeling, and by senior members of the Tesco group. They will also meet with Musgrave executives and others during the 7am-7pm sessions every Monday and Tuesday for the next six weeks. Participants will also travel to Britain to conduct market research.

Addressing yesterday’s gathering, Agriculture Junior Minister Shane McEntee said: “Ireland has great food strengths and food companies but in recent years too few of our high potential start-ups have been found in the food sector. Food Works aimed to change this.”


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