Ten small or emerging food processing companies have been presented with their certificates for successfully completing the Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia sponsored Pallas Foods Supplier Development Programme. Already, as a result of participating on the programme, four of the companies - Couverture and Sushi King, both from Dublin, and Paddy’s O’Granola and G’s Gourmet Jam of Laois - have achieved product listings with Pallas Foods, while it is anticipated ongoing discussions will result in other participating companies being successful in the near future.
The six-month programme was delivered by consultants James Burke & Associates.
Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia worked together to design this unique programme to help support small or emerging food processing companies achieve the service standards, product quality and innovation necessary to achieve product listings in the foodservice sector. The foodservice market has become increasingly important for Irish food suppliers and offers significant potential for new entrants. However, it is a more challenging environment than retail, being highly fragmented and extremely diverse.
Dick Lenehan, EI Food Division Manager said: “This highly practical industry-led programme has opened doors for early-stage Irish food companies, greatly strengthening their capacity to win new business at home and by entering export markets. The food industry is one of our largest indigenous sectors and a key contributor to the Irish economy. Encouraging and supporting the creation of Irish food companies is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland and I am delighted that Pallas Foods actively supported this initiative. Food in all its facets is Ireland’s most important business sector, while the prepared consumer foods sector alone directly employs 14,000 people with exports of €1.85 billion. The key to Ireland’s continued success in this very competitive market is innovation, in product and process, and in sales and marketing”.
Commenting at the event, Eddie Heffernan, Purchasing Manager, Pallas Foods said: “Pallas Foods has been fully committed to this supplier development programme. At Pallas Foods we are renowned for the quality of our fresh Irish food, and this is down to the excellent long standing relationships we’ve built up with Irish suppliers. We’ve had a unique opportunity over the past six months to work with some of the best small and emerging food companies in Ireland, assisting in their development through this programme, and hopefully giving some of them a boost in tough economic times. I congratulate every one of them on their completion of the programme and the talent for innovation that they’ve demonstrated throughout. As a result of this programme, we look forward to introducing innovative new product to the extensive Pallas Foods portfolio, available for all our customers throughout the 32 counties”.
Teresa Brophy, Bord Bia’s Ireland Market Manager said, “The programme was a highly innovative project, which enabled small food companies to fully understand the workings of the foodservice sector and the best approach to take in order for them to secure a listing with a national distributor such as Pallas Foods. This is exactly the type of partnership we want to see between producers and foodservice distributors in the food sector and it forms an important part of Bord Bia’s Ireland Market Foodservice Programme”.
The participants exhibited at the Catex Expo at the RDS in February, as part of the programme, gaining valuable leads, learnings and orders worth in excess of €500,000 as a result.
List of Graduating Companies
G’s Gourmet Jams Homemade jams, relishes and seasonal products. Abbeyleix, Co Laois
Paddy’s O’Granola Toasted breakfast cereal. Portlaoise, Co Laois
McCloskey’s Bakery Handmade bread and confectionery. Drogheda, Co Louth
Country Cooking Sliced and pre-packed homemade ready to heat Boxty potato-product. Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim
Just Food Range of organic products including soup, hummus, pesto and pasta sauce Co Cork
Spice of Life Sauces, marinades, dressing, rubs, glazes and meat seasonings. Dunmanway, Co Cork
Bombay Pantry Gourmet food to go Indian ready meals and sauces. Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow
Couverture Desserts Premium quality desserts from single serve to cakes. Dublin 8
Kooky Dough Handmade cookie dough in five different flavours. Dublin 20
Sushi King Traditional and contemporary fresh sushi. Dublin 4