Leader Food Initiative

food inititive

The LEADER Food Initiative

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, in conjunction with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, launched the ‘LEADER Food Initiative for applications from project applicants wishing to receive grant aid under the LEADER Food Initiative (Artisan, Micro and Small food producers)


This initiative aims to support new and existing food and beverage producers to address emerging challenges through investment in areas such as 1) market development  2)competitiveness and 3)innovation.

Supports under this initiative may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Artisan, Micro and Small food producers, including those with a focus on collaborative proposals, aimed at production quality and market issues;
  • Regional product development, including a focus on marketing distinctive local foodstuffs;
  • Marketing and processing for strategically identified sectors, including honey and apple processors;
  • Improved marketing, product quality and business skills through support for innovative collaborative processes and so address challenges to co-operation identified in studies on facilitating short supply chains e.g. entry barriers, the need for shared understanding, skills/training, and marketing and business skills deficits.

Project Eligibility

In order for potential applications to be considered eligible, they must be:

  • In the areas of (1) market development, (2) competitiveness or (3) innovation and must be in line with the objectives of the LDS framework for the sub-regional area;
  • Project applicants must be an Artisan, Micro or Small food producers and registered as a food producer with the relevant Competent Authority as per Regulation (EC) No 852/2004; (For Registration as a Food Producer, please contact FSAI: https://www.fsai.ie/food_businesses/starting_business/register.html)
  • If the applicant is not a food business, the project must deliver a benefit to artisan, micro and small food producers.


Funding Limits

The minimum amount of funding available under this initiative is €5,000 with the maximum set at €200,000 per project.  Funding will be provided for capital investment, analysis and development or training.


What is Artisan  / Micro  /  Small  business?

Artisan businesses are micro enterprises with turnover up to €2, employing fewer 10 people and producing food in limited quantities using skilled craftspeople.

Micro businesses are enterprises which employ fewer than ten people and whose annual turnover  and /or annual  balance sheet total does not exceed €2.

Small businesses are enterprises with turnover up to €10, employing fewer than 50 people.


How to Apply

Kilkenny LEADER Partnership would like to hear from small and artisan businesses in Kilkenny to discuss options and opportunities!  Contact Us for more information!


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