Access 6 First Workshop

Media Release

6th September 2013

Irish Food and Drink Businesses Given Export Support

- Tailored export skills workshops launched for SMEs in the border counties of Ireland -

As food and drink continues to lead Ireland’s export growth, Access 6, a pioneering new export programme, funded by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, will launch a series of free Food and Drink Export Skills workshops targeted at SMEs in the border regions of Ireland, aiming to help them break into the world export markets.

The first workshop will take place on Thursday 12th of September in Monaghan, with the following workshops taking place in Donegal Town and Dundalk in Ireland and in Templepatrick, Enniskillen and Portadown in Northern Ireland. These are open for eligible small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in each of the project’s target regions covering Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Western Scotland.

Bringing together the collective skills and experience of the Irish Exporters Association (IEA), Scotland Food & Drink (SFD) and Northern Ireland Food & Drink (NIFDA) - these workshops aim to up-skill businesses, helping them to help overcome barriers which hamper export.

John Whelan, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association commented: “To further develop Ireland’s export market, it is crucial to equip small to medium businesses with the key knowledge, tools and confidence to reach new markets and remain competitive. These workshops will do just that.”

The full-day workshops will be split into two sessions: the first, an inter-active session, will focus on general ‘Export Skills’. The second half of the day will focus on a specific target market to give the SMEs a tailored insight into the opportunities, routes to market and potential customers.

Each of the three workshops will focus on a specific export market. Attendees are not required to sign up to the full Access 6 programme. The workshops will take place in:


Thursday 12 September 2013 ROI – Monaghan

Four Seasons Hotel Food and Drink Exporting Skills with a focus on UK

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Northern Ireland – TemplePatrick Hilton Food and Drink Exporting Skills with a focus on Germany

Wednesday 23 October 2013 ROI – Dundalk Crowne Plaza

Food and Drink Exporting Skills with a focus on France

Tuesday 14 January 2014 ROI –Donegal Millpark Hotel

Food and Drink Exporting Skills with a focus on Scandinavia

Wednesday 26 February 2014 Northern Ireland -Enniskillen

Killyhevlin Hotel Food and Drink Exporting Skills with a focus on Benelux

Tuesday 18 March 2014 Northern Ireland  - Portadown

Seagoe Hotel Food and Drink Exporting Skills with a focus on USA


The Irish initiative is part of a wider cross-border programme, an EU INTERREG IVA funded project, that aims to increase sales by Euro 22 million across 90 food and drink manufacturers in the border regions of the Republic of Ireland, across Northern Ireland and western Scotland.

Through mentoring, marketing assistance and logistical support, the Access 6 programme will help develop the skills required to trade in key export markets including the USA and Northern Europe.  The programme also aims to create an additional 90 new jobs within the participating businesses, and up-skill a further 400 SMEs across the region as a whole.

John Whelan continued: “Ireland has a rich and vibrant food and drink industry, which is increasingly recognised by the rest of the world.  Access 6 is dedicated in providing SMEs with the knowledge and expertise to help them access these new and exciting markets”

Food and drink is the main driver behind Ireland’s growth in exports. In 2012 the food and drink sector was valued at over €9bn, the highest ever. Irish food and drink export continues to be strong, with Irish Government figures reporting 8.6% growth in the first half of 2013.


For further information please contact:

Lorna Duffy, Project Manager

Irish Exporters Association

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tel: +353 1 6424179