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24 small food producers have graduated from the inaugural Food Academy Advance programme. The participation of these 24 small businesses has resulted in €5.3 million in retail sales at SuperValu stores over the past twelve months, helping to support 216 jobs.

Food Academy is a joint programme supported by Bord Bia, the Local Enterprise Network and SuperValu that helps hundreds of small food businesses gain their first retail listings in SuperValu stores. Since 2014, the Food Academy programme has been working with hundreds of small food producers around the country, enabling them to have their products trialled in their local SuperValu stores. These 24 Advance graduates have seen their products grow sustainably across SuperValu stores nationwide.

As SuperValu stores are independently owned and operated, individual retailers are able to source directly from local suppliers on a one-to-one basis, helping small food producers gain their first retail listing and expand their operations on a sustainable basis as part of the Food Academy programme.

Commenting on the announcement, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu, said: These graduates are a real endorsement to the Food Academy initiative, which allows us to bring community based food start-ups to market and provide them with the potential to grow their businesses even further. This in turn provides employment for themselves, members of their community and for some – family members. It is great to nurture the energy and passion of these entrepreneurial producers and harness this into producing a range of products that we, as the number one Irish retailer, are proud to stock on our shelves.”

The 24 participating companies in Food Academy Advance are as follows:

1.     Atlantis Seafoods
2.     Beechlawn Organic Farm
3.     Boutique Bake
4.     Coffee House Lane
5.     Cool Bean Company
6.     DeRoiste Puddings
7.     Everest Granola Products
8.     Improper Butter
9.     Janet’s Just Delicious
10.   Lily’s Tea Shop
11.   Maria Lucia Bakes
12.   Moran’s
13.   Nobo
14.   O’Neills Dry Cure Bacon Co.
15.   Patels
16.   Rafferty’s Fine Foods
17.   Sushi King
18.   The Farmers Table
19.   The Happy Pear Living Foods
20.   The Tipperary Kitchen
21.   Trudies Catering Kitchen
22.   Uncle Aidan’s Flour
23.   Wicklow Rapeseed Oil
24.   Wild About Food

SuperValu serves over 2.6 million customers every week and now has 223 stores nationwide. 75% of everything on SuperValu’s shelves is sourced or produced in Ireland. SuperValu continues to source locally wherever possible and purchases almost €2 billion worth of goods from Irish suppliers which help to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.

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