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Do you have the next big idea?

Thursday, 25th July, 2019 10:38am

Food innovation is still the slogan of the day, at least when you read all the press releases that pop into my inbox. Courgette spaghetti is not, by any stretch of the imagination, an innovation but when you look closer at smaller producers, you can find some real gems. So, in case you are sitting at home with the next big food idea, make sure to read on.

The Department for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has released quite a big amount to support food producers, especially in rural areas, through the Leader Food Initiative and the Local Development Strategy.

Get in touch with any of them for details on how you can avail of the funding. It is too late for this year but make sure to register your interest for next year.

Another way of getting support is to sign up for the Diploma Artisan Food Production course at UCC – this is a part-time, one year course which will help you with feasibility studies, marketing, food safety etc. You will be part of a group of about 20 and the support between the participants is amazing, some great partnerships can be formed at the course and many of the students have gone on to create very successful food companies.

Contact Dr Angela Sheehan for more details and registration on the course at

This course is also part-funded so it won’t break the bank.

The Local Enterprise Office is also a great source of support as they can help you with feasibility studies, a very important step in starting your own business.

They offer match funding for the purchase of some equipment (depending on a lot of factors) and their online voucher system will support you in getting a website etc.

Another course I am excited about is the Irish Food Culture course in UCC, starting in September.

This is not about food production but will give you a great understanding of the development in Irish food and how it has influenced our economy etc.

Regina Sexton is the course organiser and you can contact her on

So, what is the next big idea? I personally believe that it is the small things that will make us smile.

One example is Mitzi Mezze with her small range of Middle Eastern products like dukkah, tomato jam and dressing. These are products you could create very easily at home but who has always all the ingredients on hand.

A jar of dukkah keeps you going for a while and is quite handy when you have the munchies – good olive oil, fresh bread and dukkah will take care of any munchies.

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