Kenneth Greene from Greene’s Family Kitchen.

Westmeath company encourages local businesses to apply for SuperValu's Food Academy

Greene’s Family Kitchen, a Rathowen-based food company, is encouraging local start-up and early-stage food and drink Irish businesses to apply for the Food Academy 2024.

Now in it's eleventh year, the programme is actively seeking applications from budding start-up and early-stage food and drink producers across Ireland.

The Food Academy is a unique and tailored business development initiative for start-up and early-stage producers. This programme, , which is supported by SuperValu and the Local Enterprise Office, not only helps indigenous businesses but also contributes to the overall growth and sustainability of the Irish food industry. Additionally, it serves as a platform for showcasing the excellence of quality Irish products and the innovative spirit of food and drink producers across the nation.

Speaking about his business and experience with Food Academy, Kenneth Greene, founder of Greene’s Family Kitchen said: “We’re a family business producing frittatas, quiche and omelette products. Our mission at Greene’s Family Kitchen is to hand create and deliver flavour packed products with real, authentic, and honest origins. Using our own award-winning free-range eggs produced on our farm, we source other great local organic ingredients for use in our recipes. We handcraft all our food to ensure outstanding quality and taste before it reaches your table. We applied for the Food Academy programme to gain more experience. The Food Academy has given us great insight into the requirements of modern retailing which provides the ideal platform to grow my business with confidence.”

Over the past 11 years, more than 1,000 producers from all 26 counties of Ireland have successfully completed the Food Academy programme. This initiative has provided these entrepreneurs with a unique opportunity to showcase their innovative products on SuperValu shelves all year round. Since its inception in 2013, Food Academy producers have collectively generated €230 million in product sales within SuperValu, supporting 1,500 jobs in the economy.

The Food Academy recognises the importance of innovative and creative individuals within the food sector, acknowledging their role in shaping and advancing the industry. SuperValu's commitment to supporting these entrepreneurs is evident in its longstanding dedication to the Food Academy programme. This initiative presents a particularly positive opportunity for start-up and early-stage businesses at a time when the challenges and costs of doing business are heightened.

Speaking about the Food Academy recruitment, Ciara McClafferty, Trading Director, SuperValu said: “The Food Academy is a brilliant partnership between SuperValu and the Local Enterprise Office, which continues to go from strength to strength since its inception 11 years ago. Through this programme, producers are given an excellent opportunity to gain invaluable experience, while being given exposure in SuperValu stores throughout the country. At SuperValu, support of local and Irish producers is in our DNA, and our involvement in Food Academy further emphasises our dedication to fostering local talent and businesses within the food industry. Consumer tastes and behaviours are constantly evolving, and the Food Academy is meeting these needs, being centred around nurturing innovative food and drink producers to deliver great tasting products for our shoppers and the Irish market. We’d encourage all start-up and early-stage producers to apply today.”

Apply for the Food Academy today through your Local Enterprise Office here.

The closing date for applications is April 5.