- 18 October 2012
Food Chains for Competitive Advantage aims to assist small to medium food and drink companies in addressing key market opportunities through innovation in new product development and branding in the food chain. The programme provides a complete package of assistance through delivery of tailored one to one mentoring and workshops that will lead to the development of new products in a range of Irish and Welsh SMEs.
The programme is run by the Irish exporters Association with the support of Bord Bia in Ireland and Menter a Busnes in Wales.(For Menter a Busnes website click here.)
How the programme Works:
Companies will be assisted to maximise their market potential through the development of a practical support network of partners that can work on a cross border basis to develop a sustainable local economy and build capacity to sell to the wider markets.
Of the companies chosen to develop a new product for launch to market, they will be each assigned a mentor to assist them for the duration of the project. The project will work closely with state bodies such as Bord Bia, Teagasc, and the Welsh Assembly Government to ensure activities complement what is already being done in this area.
Objectives of the Programme:
1. To assist SMEs to address key market opportunities through innovation in new product development (NPD) and branding in the food chain which comprises of micro / SME producers, distributors, retailers and consumers.
2. Conduct research into consumer trends to provide insights.
3. Carry out research into the barriers to innovation in NPD and branding in a sample of SMEs.
4. Develop a practical blueprint on how to develop new products from idea generation to launch.
5. Assist to develop and embed innovative management practices via delivery of tailored one to one mentoring by experts, and workshops that will lead to the development of new products/management processes in a range of Irish and Welsh SMEs.
The key focus of the project will be on understanding the motivaions of the consumer and to enable:
- New Product Development, initiating new product ideas, testing and bringing them to market.
- Branding, the importance of brands, brand innovation and how to develop effective brands and drive awareness of these brands.
- New process developments to ensure effective management practices are applied in manufacturing and marketing.
It is aimed that the project will safeguard jobs within the food and drink sector in the cross border area by improving the competitiveness of SMEs due to the development of a focused marketing strategy.
The Food Chains for Competitive Advantage Programme is an Ireland Wales European Regional Development project made possible through a financial contribution from the European Regional Development Fund Ireland Wales (INTERREG 4A) Programme 2007-2013, this article reflects the views of the author only and not those of the Programme Authorities.
For more information on the Ireland Wales Programme please click here.