Up to 560 jobs will be created in Cork and Kerry following announcements by an outsourcing company and the food sector.
SouthWestern is to create 260 jobs at its new offices at Eastgate, Little Island, while dozens of small food businesses plan to create around 300 jobs over the next 12 months after receiving listings with their local SuperValu stores.
The jobs will be created in businesses, including start-ups employing fewer than five people, which took part in the Food Academy Start programme, a collaboration between Bord Bia, SuperValu and Local Enterprise Offices.
The programme provides artisan food producers with direct access to expertise in branding, market research, purchasing, packaging and retail distribution.
The jobs announcement was made at the Cork and Kerry Food Forum yesterday which hosted a huge artisan food market and trade conference.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said Ireland’s artisan and speciality food industry is playing an important role in the country’s economic recovery. “This is evidenced today by the dynamic growth in food start-ups and food production companies.”
SuperValu managing director Martin Kelleher said the academy has helped more than 200 small food businesses, and will result in sales worth €5m in the next year. “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,” he said.
Hundreds of people later attended free tastings and cookery demonstrations by celebrity chef Kevin Dundon at the City Hall event.
Meanwhile, SouthWestern is to recruit sales, administration, account management and multilingual personnel immediately to fill 100 positions, while the remaining 160 positions will be filled over the next two years.
The announcement was made by Mr Coveney when he visited the company’s offices yesterday.
When the new jobs are filled it will mean that SouthWestern, which started as a cattle breeding society in 1957, will have a workforce of 1,100 in Ireland, Lodz, Poland and Milton Keynes.
SouthWestern’s clients include, Bord Gáis Energy, the Private Residential Tenancies Board, Independent News & Media, the Department of Agriculture as well as several other local government and public sector organisations. It provides companies with supports in finance and administration, data processing and multilingual customer contact.
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