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Hospitality Ireland Presents Round-Up Of Irish Food News

By Dave Simpson

Hospitality Ireland presents a round-up of Irish food news.

Sodexo Launches Search For Irish Food And Facilities Management Start-Ups As Future Of Work Partners

Sodexo has launched a search for Irish food and facilities management start-ups as Future of Work partners.

Sodexo said in a statement, "Workplace services provider Sodexo is on the lookout for Irish start-ups and scale-ups as 'future of work' partners.  It has teamed up with innovation specialist L Marks to launch its Accelerator innovation programme and from January 2022, it will focus on identifying early and growth stage companies operating in the food service and facilities management space in Ireland and also in the UK. Once identified, they will offered an unique opportunity to take their innovative ideas to the next level through Sodexo's Accelerator platform, where the selected businesses will be given the chance to work with Sodexo's experts over a ten-week period to fine tune their solutions in a live customer environment.

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"Sodexo's Accelerator innovation programme has already launched in China, Brazil, India, France and Sweden.

"L Marks is an innovation specialist with experience of running over 70 programmes with some of the world's leading companies. It will work with Sodexo to identify four areas to focus and attract start-ups and scale-ups who provide innovative new solutions. They will then be approached and given the opportunity to pitch to work with Sodexo and help the company develop its offer to meet the future of work needs of its clients.

"Through collaboration with start-ups, the programme will drive innovations in technology that improve the workplace experience, aligning with Sodexo's vast portfolio of expertise on workspace and work-life services, Vital Spaces.

"In January 2022, L Marks will kick-start its scouting campaign to identify early and growth stage companies operating in the food service and facilities management space. Once identified, L Marks will offer them a unique opportunity to take their innovative ideas to the next level through Sodexo's Accelerator platform, where the selected start-ups and scale-ups will be given the chance to work with Sodexo's experts over a ten-week period to fine tune their solutions in a live customer environment.

"Julie Ennis, country president, Sodexo Ireland, said, 'It is critical that Sodexo is agile and provides clients with forward-thinking solutions, powered by the latest technology. We have a fantastic track record of partnering with small and medium enterprises to achieve that aim.

"'At Sodexo, we believe deeply in doing good business in a good way. That's why we leverage our expertise to not only optimise the efficiency of our clients' businesses, but to have a powerful, positive impact on the communities we serve.'

"Daniel Saunders, CEO L Marks, said, 'Sodexo has decades of industry knowledge and a global client footprint. L Marks is delighted to work alongside Sodexo to create and launch its first UK & Ireland Accelerator.

"'Sodexo Accelerator will enable businesses to embrace entrepreneurial ideas and creative talent to create a step change in the industry and drive business forward.'"

Redesdale Group Launches €75m Food And Beverage Fund

Redesdale Group has launched a €75 million food and beverage fund.

Redesdale Group stated, "Redesdale Group today is launching the Redesdale Food & Beverage Fund, a new €75m fund, which will invest in the future of food & beverage by providing seed and early-stage capital to Irish food entrepreneurs. The Fund brings together some of Ireland's most accomplished financiers, food sector leaders and commercial scientists and has recently completed a first close of €27m.

"Enterprise Ireland's €15m investment through its Seed & Venture Capital Programme is anchoring the Fund. The Fund's backers include leading locally owned businesses Musgrave Group and Monaghan Mushrooms. Lord Abbett, a leading US asset management company, Coca-Cola and Tate & Lyle will also participate.

"Commenting on the announcement of the new fund, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar T.D., said, 'This Fund, which will see €75m invested in Irish food start-ups, is a real boost for the next generation of Irish food entrepreneurs. I’m extremely proud of the fact that we produce enough food to feed nine times our population. We want that to continue, and we must do what we can to help those with a new business in the food and drink sector get their idea off the ground. This Fund is the first of its kind and I'm really looking forward to seeing the new ideas that it supports.'

"Simon Cummins, Chairman of Redesdale Group, said, 'The food start-up sector in Ireland is fuelled by a strong entrepreneurial culture and underpinned by world class research but access to capital remains a challenge. Our mission is to provide start-up capital to help realise the ambitions of a new generation of food sector leaders in this country. I am delighted that we are joined in that mission by such a powerful group of domestic and international investors.'

"Speaking on behalf of Enterprise Ireland, CEO, Leo Clancy, said, 'The Food HPSU Team in Enterprise Ireland works with exciting food start-ups which have the potential to become scalable, sustainable, exporting food and beverage companies. The Redesdale Food Fund is an important development in the food funding arena, and we are delighted to support it. The creation of a food specific fund and availability of that essential early-stage capital will speed the growth of the next generation of ambitious Irish food and beverage companies.'

"Agnese Filippi, Country Manager of Coca-Cola Ireland, said, 'Coca-Cola's planned participation in the Redesdale Food & Beverage Fund will build on the support that we have provided to the indigenous Irish food and drink industry over the past five years through our successful Thrive programme. In partnership with Enterprise Ireland, we have supported fast growth and ambitious Irish companies as they start to scale. Our involvement in Redesdale is a natural evolution of this relationship and puts us in a position to support high potential early-stage businesses in a new and impactful way.'

Noel Keeley, CEO of Musgrave Group, said, 'Musgrave is delighted to extend its support to emerging Irish food and beverage businesses through its investment in the Redesdale Fund, providing much needed growth capital to local entrepreneurs that are pushing the boundaries of innovation in our sector. As consumers become more conscious of food choices, Musgrave is proud to be backing local producers as they seek to meet the demands of shoppers into the future; as an Irish business we have a history of supporting other Irish businesses, independent retailers, SMEs and local producers. In addition to our Food Academy programme, which currently supports 290 Irish food and beverage producers, this investment is yet another example of Musgrave's support for local Irish producers, food leadership and home-grown food innovation.'

"The Redesdale Team

"The Investment Team includes Michael Cantwell, former Head of Food in Enterprise Ireland, Owen Murphy, a leading venture capitalist, John Stapleton, a food entrepreneur well-known for his success with New Covent Garden Soup and Little Dish, as well as John Conroy, co-founder and former CEO of Merrion Capital. Eamonn Coghlan, former world champion at 5,000m, is the Fund's Marketing Manager.

"Niall FitzGerald KBE, former Chairman and CEO of Unilever plc and Chairman of Olam Food Ingredients, chairs the advisory board to the Fund. Stan McCarthy, former CEO of Kerry Group plc, is Chairman of the Investment Committee. The team is optimistic about the opportunities in food & beverage in Ireland. John Conroy said, 'The importance of securing the food supply chain was underlined during the pandemic. Underneath, there are profound changes in the nature and sourcing of food & beverage products, as food plays an increasingly important role in individual and governmental health strategies and as we seek to move to a more sustainable future. Ireland is at the forefront of that change in food & beverage.'

"For more information on the fund visit https://www.redesdalefoodfund.ie/

"Enterprise Ireland will be hosting a joint webinar on 16th December with the fund team to discuss the overall funding landscape for food companies. The webinar will discuss Enterprise Ireland supports and advice available to start-ups in the Food and Beverage Sector and the role that the Redesdale fund will play in that ecosystem. Key speakers include Stan McCarthy (Redesdale Food Fund), Sinead Crowther (Founder & CEO of Soothing Solutions), Michael Cantwell (General Partner, Redesdale Food Fund) & Nicola NicPhaidin (Manager HPSU, Enterprise Ireland). The webinar will take place on the 16th December at 12pm. To register for this webinar, please visit https://globalambition.ie/webinar-irish-food-startup-landscape-and-funding".

Bord Bia welcomes Step Forward For Irish Sheepmeat Access To The US

Bord Bia has welcomed a step forward for Irish sheepmeat access to the US.

Bord Bia said in a statement, "The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed the lifting by US authorities of a ban on EU sheepmeat, an important step forward in the process of achieving market access for Irish sheepmeat exports to the US market.

"The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) decision will pave the way for the full market access for Irish sheepmeat to the US.

"Sheepmeat exports from the EU to the US were banned due to the presence of scrapie in certain EU member states. This ban has now been removed.

"Welcoming the announcement, Bord Bia's Chief Executive, Tara McCarthy, said, 'Bord Bia is delighted with the prospect of promoting sheepmeat to the US in the coming months. Our focus will be on raising the profile of Irish grass-fed sheepmeat through awareness of it as a premium, natural product sourced from Quality Assured farms, and fully traceability from farm to fork.'

"Overall sheepmeat consumption in the US is forecast to stand at 185,000 tonnes this year. Imports in 2020 stood at 133,000 tonnes (€886 million) and account for two thirds of total sheepmeat consumption. Growing lamb consumption levels, albeit from a small base, have resulted in an increasing demand for lamb however this is not expected to stimulate an upturn in domestic production.

"The two largest suppliers of imported sheepmeat to the US, New Zealand and Australia, represent 99% of all imports in volume terms (New Zealand 76%; Australia 23%. Source: Global trade atlas data for 2020).

"Bord Bia US Manager Henry Horkan commented, 'Through engaging with key importers and customers over the coming months we will pave the way for the launch of lamb in the US. This is vital at a time when diversification into international markets has never been more important to optimise the value returned to Irish producers.'

"Next spring, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will lead a trade mission with Bord Bia to the US, which will include a series of lamb focused meetings with key importers."

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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