Food businesses spreading their wings

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LOCAL food retailers are getting the opportunity to develop some of their products to sell to a wider market base.

Coleraine, Ballymoney, Limavady and Moyle Councils have come together to launch an innovative new programme to help local retailers expand into manufacturing.

Martin Clark, Economic Development Officer at Coleraine Borough Council explained, “We have had a lot of interest from existing butchers, bakers, delis, and even restaurant chefs to develop products they sell in their own outlets, and manufacture them on a large scale to sell through other shops, and food service outlets.

“We decided to develop a programme to help them understand what needs to be done to upscale, and this programme will provide them with experienced food sector consultants, who can guide them through the process.”

Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Director of Full Circle Management Solutions, who are running the Retail into Manufacturing Programme said: “We are looking for food retailers who wish to make some of their products on a commercial scale, and sell to a wider market place.

“We are excited about the programme, and believe it will help retailers greatly. We provide them with training, mentoring from food specialists, best practice visits, opportunities to test market their products, a visit to a speciality food fair in London and most importantly, access to buyers”.

The programme is funded by the four Councils, and is part financed by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.

For further information, or to request an application form, contact Deirdre Fitzpatrick or Judith Maguire on 02890691027, or email judith@fullcircle.eu.com