Diverse range of food businesses to benefit from over €550,000 through the LEADER Food Initiative

Minister Ring and Minister Creed approve 12 projects

Minister Ring and Minister Creed approve funding of €557,000 for 12 projects as part of Leader Food Initiative

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today approved funding of €557,408 for 12 LEADER Food Initiative projects, which have been independently evaluated and recommended for approval by the Local Action Groups (LAG).

The LEADER Food Initiative will provide up to €15 million, over the next two years, to support the further development of food and drink businesses throughout rural Ireland. The funding covers the renovation and extension of production facilities, the purchasing of processing equipment, as well as supporting participants in the artisan food and beverage sector in areas such as market development, competitiveness, and innovation.  The initiative is managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development, with funding provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Minister Ring said: “I am delighted to be delivering this funding initiative through the LEADER programme. The food and drinks sector is one of Ireland’s most innovative indigenous industries and is a vital source of employment in rural areas. The funding we have approved today will make a real difference to product and process development within these businesses, and help to position them to avail of future market opportunities.

“The range of approved projects reflects the diversity of food businesses operating throughout rural Ireland.

“In addition to the investment provided directly to food businesses, funding is also being provided to collective initiatives that support the overall development of the food sector in different regions. This includes support for the West Waterford Food Festival and training for artisan and small food producers in Co. Limerick. The development of a food incubation hub in Balla, Co. Mayo should also be of great benefit to potential food producers in the surrounding region.”

Minister Creed added: “I am delighted to provide over €550,000 in funding from my Department for these diverse and exciting small, micro and artisanal food businesses around Ireland. The Food Wise strategy acknowledges the unique and important position and vital role of the small, micro and artisanal food sector in both the rural and national economy and its positive growth prospects. The funding provided for the Small Micro and Artisanal Food sector, through the LEADER mechanism, is critically important for these businesses to grow.  I want to encourage other small, micro and artisanal food businesses to avail of this scheme into the future.”

The LEADER Food Initiative will continue to support other food producers over the next two years. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to avail of this unique funding opportunity which provides tailored support depending on the needs of the individual food operators.

As for all LEADER 2014 – 2020 funding applications, interested applicants should contact the LAG in the relevant LEADER sub-regional area in the first instance. LAG contact details can be found at http://drcd.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/list-of-LAGs.pdf.


Note to editors:

The full list of projects approved today is below:

Promoter Name Promoter Address Description of Project. LEADER Grant Amount
Hodgins Sausages LTD Mitchelstown,

Co. Cork.

Equipment to support the development of two new product categories. €156,586.50
Harty Nutrition Ltd. Farranfore,

Co. Kerry.

Expansion of manufacturing facility producing nutrition products aimed at healthy snack market. €120,050.00
McNiffe’s Bakery Drumshanbo,

Co. Leitrim.

Processing equipment and storage to support business expansion. €71,312.50
Kellys of Newport Artisan Butchers Ltd Newport,

Co. Mayo.

Expansion of production facilities to support market growth. €57,500.00
Waterford County Festival of Food CLG Dungarvan,

Co. Waterford.

Assistance to artisan food producers participating in food festival. €33,048.15
Balla Community Resource Development CLG Balla, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Community kitchen and food incubation hub. €31,256.01
West Limerick Resources CLG Newcastle West, Co. Limerick. Training for artisan, micro and small food businesses. €29,976.00
Nicole Dunphy t/a Pandora Bell Ballysimon, Limerick. Product design and marketing of premium confectionary products. €19,374.37
The No Nonsense Food Company Ltd Skibbereen,

Co. Cork.

Development of new pork snack products. €13,666.23
Frank Hederman Cobh,

Co. Cork.

Enhanced refrigeration facilities as part of phased strategic development plan. €9,617.50
Clonakilty Chocolate / Exploding Tree Clonakilty,

Co. Cork.

New product development and equipment upgrade, with a view of developing their business into the tourism sector. €8,573.10
Ellen Lewis Hanley Mitchelstown, Co. Cork. Expansion of baking facility to allow for product diversification and new product offering. €6,448.28

The approval of these projects under the Food Initiative builds on the strong progress made in recent months in rolling out the LEADER programme generally. Over 1,500 projects have now been approved across the new LEADER Programme. The amount of funding allocated to-date in 2018, at €34 million, is more than double the amount allocated in 2017. In total, over €50 million has now been awarded to LEADER projects over the last year and a half.