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Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD has announced the eleven companies that will participate in the Enterprise Ireland SuperValu Supplier Development Programme. The programme now in its sixth year aims to assist emerging Irish food companies to achieve retail listings with supermarkets. To date, previous participants have benefited from €15 million in direct sales from SuperValu and created hundreds of jobs.

Developed by Enterprise Ireland in conjunction with SuperValu, and assisted by Bord Bia and Teagasc, the Programme delivers support for small or emerging food companies to achieve the product quality, service standards and technical innovation necessary to reach supermarket shelves.

Now in its sixth year, eleven companies have signed up to take part in the six-month long programme, which will consist of both workshops delivered by SuperValu and industry experts and one-on-one mentoring. This year’s participants consist of Kilbeg Dairies, Clotilde’s Fruit Compote, Drombeg Spirits, Biddy Gonzales, Simplee, Jack Molloys, Flatbread Company, Pure Brazen, Kavanagh’s Fine Foods, Bombay Pantry and Pie Irish.

Launching the programme, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, said: The market know-how of a company such as SuperValu is a huge benefit to food producers seeking to reach more consumers and to grow their businesses in line with Food Harvest 2020. A comprehensive retail programme such as this equips participants with skills required to secure and maintain a listing and so build a high profile route to market for their products.“

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu, added: “Supporting entrepreneurship and SMEs is at the very core of SuperValu’s DNA. Aside from the 195 stores which form the SuperValu network and employ 15,000 people directly, we also support more than 600 Irish supplier companies and a further 14,000 jobs indirectly. The SuperValu Supplier Development programme is yet another example of our commitment to creating further employment by assisting small innovative local suppliers get their product to market, to help grow and drive their businesses forward. We know that our continued success is dependent on getting more local products onto our shelves, as consumers not only want to buy Irish whenever possible, but also authentic local food, which SuperValu can deliver like no other brand.”

Frank Ryan, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland has worked closely with SuperValu, Bord Bia and Teagasc in developing this initiative. Food is Ireland’s number one export sector and critically important to our economy and to export-led growth. That’s why programmes like this are so important for the participating food companies and building on their potential to develop their business further, both in Ireland and export markets. It is a highly practical programme that gives real and immediate benefit and impact for the participants. With access to the SuperValu top management and retail buyers, they gain important trading insights from the perspective of the buyer. Combined with the practical learning on the programme itself, and exposure to the trading opportunities in the fast moving consumer food market, the participants can greatly strengthen their capacity to apply the learning and win new business. For Enterprise Ireland, this is exactly the type of synergy we want to see between the producers and the retailers in the food sector.”

In 2011 the total purchases of Irish goods and services made by SuperValu, was worth over €1.6bn to the Irish economy, serving to both create and protect almost 30,000 Irish jobs in the farm, food and retail sector.

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