Musgrave, Ireland’s leading food retail, wholesale and foodservice company, today announces the return of its Food Business Student Entrepreneurship programme for 2023. The programme is championed by Musgrave’s SuperValu Food Academy producer development programme. Now in its third year, the Musgrave Food Business Student Entrepreneurship programme works with Food Academy producers, giving students in the BSC Food Marketing and Entrepreneurship Degree the opportunity to gain direct practical experience of what it means to be an entrepreneur within the Irish food industry.
The collaboration between students and producers enables an exchange of knowledge and expertise in a dynamic way, allowing students to try their hand at solving problems that emerging food entrepreneurs face while producers gain access to skills and fresh thinking for their business. To date, the programme has seen significant success with over 130 students taking part alongside 24 Irish food producers. Originally launched in 2021, the Musgrave Food Business Student Entrepreneurship programme will see students and producers meet in person for the first time since the programme began.
This year, the initiative is being extended to include transition year students from two local Cork schools – St. Vincent’s Secondary School, St. Mary’s Road, Cork and Presentation Secondary Girl’s School Ballyphehane. The expansion of the programme to transition year students will give tangible, practical experience to students, showcasing the real-life possibilities presented by Irish food and drink products, while highlighting the commitment of the Musgrave Group to the importance of education and supporting our future food leaders with career experience.
The Food Academy at SuperValu, which is run in conjunction with Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Office, gives start-up and early-stage food and drink producers an opportunity to get their products on SuperValu shelves. The programme, which is an established part of the Irish food industry and is now entering its 10th year, supports 1,800 jobs nationwide. A longstanding supporter of local and Irish, the Food Academy is the tangible embodiment of supporting Irish entrepreneurs, producers and communities. Consistently delivering high quality, great tasting products, Food Academy producers are enhancing the product offering across SuperValu stores in Ireland.
Food Academy and Taste of Local Manager at Musgrave, Carmel Biggane states: “The Food Academy programme is all about giving small Irish Food and Drink producers the skills and expertise needed to bring products to the retail sector, by providing producers with their first retail listing. Building on the SuperValu Food Academy programme, the Musgrave Food Business Student Entrepreneurship Programme encourages the collaboration of students and industry producers, allowing them to share knowledge, experience and an appetite for innovation. At Musgrave, we are proud to support this initiative which highlights the importance of education alongside entrepreneurship, delivering a better understanding of how small Irish Food and Drink producers work and the challenges they face, which in turn will better prepare the students for careers in the food industry.”
Dr. Alan Collins, Programme Co Director states: This initiative has greatly broadened how and what our students learn by giving them the exciting opportunity to work together in teams across all years of the degree to resolve the challenges that emergent entrepreneurs face. Interacting with the producers provides our students with a unique window into the world of entrepreneurship and the opportunity to apply what they are learning in class to solve real world challenges These have ranged from expanding food entrepreneurs’ social media presence to build customer engagement and brand awareness, developing new markets and sales channels, to applying learnings from their Food and Nutritional Science modules in areas such as sensory analysis to establish preferred recipes, and packaging and labelling redesign to improve on shelf visibility.