SECAD Announces Free Sustainability Training Programme For Small, Medium And Artisan Food Businesses Across South And West Cork

By Dave Simpson
SECAD Announces Free Sustainability Training Programme For Small, Medium And Artisan Food Businesses Across South And West Cork

SECAD Partnership CLG has announced that it will launch a free Sustainable Food Training Programme for small, medium and artisan food businesses across south and west Cork next month.

The aim of the programme is to educate and empower eligible businesses in various areas in which they may be experiencing challenges regarding sustainability.

SECAD stated, "Having identified challenges faced by food and beverage producers in relation to sustainability such as sustainable sourcing and supply chain practices, packaging, energy, water and waste, consumer education, carbon emissions, renewable energy and climate change, the trainers of SECAD's Sustainable Food Training Programme will share expert knowledge and advice based on years of professional experience in these areas.

"In line with the Global Sustainable Development Goal 12.3: 'By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.' Ireland has committed, through the Food Waste Charter, to take responsibility and actions towards achieving this goal. Businesses, industry leaders and individuals are encouraged to prioritise the prevention of food waste at every point within the supply chain. With that in mind, SECAD have developed this training programme which will give practical guidance to food business owners, so that they can further pursue environmentally conscious actions within their business operations."


The modules covered in the training programme will include the following:


  • Sustainability – The What and The How (to include green finance and green procurement)
  • Our Food and Our Environment
  • Resource Efficiency (managing energy, water and waste)
  • Climate Change - Measure Your Carbon Footprint
  • Communication - Engaging the Marketplace - Understanding Consumer Behaviour and Sustainable Consumption
  • Circular Economy Proposition Design
  • Managing Food Waste
  • Building a Sustainability Culture - Engaging Employees & Suppliers
  • Packaging, Storage, Transport & Distribution: Sustainable Supply Chain Design
  • Design Thinking, Innovation & Sustainability

SECAD Assistant CEO Statement

Speaking about the launch of this new training programme, SECAD assistant CEO Suzanne Kearney said, "Globally, more than one quarter of food produced is wasted, with food loss and waste contributing 8 to 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Now, more so than ever before, it is vital that we all do our level best in being as sustainable as possible, and we here at SECAD are committed to doing just that. We are delighted to see such a high level of interest in this training programme so far. It will be undeniably beneficial to food and beverage businesses to enable them to become more sustainable, resilient and to gain competitive advantage in the market. This will also have a positive knock-on effect in their communities and the food producing sector in the region. The content of the training programme will be delivered by leading experts in their respective areas, and we are thrilled to have such talented and experienced industry professionals onboard."

Additional Programme Details

SECAD continued, "Experienced trainers on the course will include professionals from SustHub - one of Ireland's leading corporate sustainability and circular economy companies, The Clean Technology Centre (CTC) based at Munster Technological University - providing consultancy to organisations in all key areas of sustainability, and, finally, Change by Degrees - a sustainability consultancy with over 20 years international experience in climate and environment strategy, communications and employee and customer engagement.

"This programme will run from April 2021 to November 2021 (with a break across July and August), and attendees will take part in the following:

  • 10 x 3-hour training modules (delivered online)
  • Site visits to businesses considered to be pursuing best practice in the area of sustainability and/or resource efficiency (subject to COVID 19 government restrictions)
  • One to one training as relevant to their business needs
  • Networking opportunities with food businesses

"The closing date to sign up for this free course is Monday the 5th of April 2021, with training starting on Wednesday the 14th of (south Cork) and Friday the 16th (west Cork). Places are limited and business owners are encouraged to log on to to register for a place now. #SustainableFood

"Companies that wish to participate in this training programme must satisfy the following criteria:


  • Be based within SECAD's operational area:
  • Be registered as a food producer.
  • Be trading for a period of no less than six months.
  • Commit to a company representative attending each of the 10 modules.

"The Sustainable Food Training Programme South & West Cork is funded under The LEADER Food initiative, which is jointly managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Approvals for the awards of funding under this initiative are made by Cork County Council's LEADER Local Action Groups, which are a subgroup of the local community development committees (LCDCs)."

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