Almost 70% of small food businesses expect business to grow in 2014

ShelfLife reported that Bord Bia has launched a new ‘Guide to Retail for Small Food Producers’, a practical tool for small food businesses to assist them in winning and growing business in the Irish retail sector. The guide was shared with over 170 small food businesses gathered in Dublin on 29 January for Bord Bia’s fourth annual Small Business Open Day, where companies received information on a range of programmes and facilities available to them. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, was in attendance to deliver the opening address.

According to a recent Bord Bia food industry survey (December 2013), small Irish food businesses are optimistic about their growth prospects with 67% of those surveyed expecting business to grow in 2014 while almost half increased turnover in 2013.

Speaking at the event, Tara McCarthy, director of Bord Bia’s Food and Beverage Division commented: “Supporting a dynamic, profitable and growth-oriented small business sector remains central to Bord Bia’s strategic plans and programmes. The guide provides valuable insight for producers and start-ups targeting the grocery retail market and it will help companies understand buyer requirements and the trading policies of the multiple retailers and independently owned speciality stores. With a current value of approximately €9 billion, and an average spend on grocery items per household of €5,500, grocery retail in Ireland represents a key sales opportunity for food producers.

The guide aims to highlight the issues that small companies and entrepreneurs face when entering the retail market in Ireland and to outline the demands that each route to market presents. It also includes profiles of the multiple retailers, discounters and an overview of independent specialist stores as well as a sample pricing model and a glossary of retail terms.

This ‘Guide to Retail for Small Food Producers’ is part of a series of publications from Bord Bia including the ‘Guide to Distribution for Food and Drink Producers’ and the forthcoming ‘Guide to Farmer’s Markets for Small Food Producers’. The ‘Guide to Online for Small Food Producers’ and the ‘Guide to Foodservice for Small Food Producers’ will complete the series in 2015.

Bord Bia works with over 400 small food businesses with an annual turnover of €400 million. Approximately 3,000 people are directly employed in the sector and in 2013, 187 companies were approved a total of almost €1 million in marketing grants. In 2014, many small firms will travel with Bord Bia to trade fairs across the UK, Germany and further afield.

For more information or to access the guide and presentations from the event, visit

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