Meet the Buyer Day - La Rousse Foods PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 09:30

Second Cluster Launched with La Rousse Foods as Channel Partner

On November 24th 2009, the second Cluster in the Channel Clusters Programme was launched in Park West, Dublin 22. La Rousse Foods is the Channel Partner.

This project was 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 authors only and not those of the Programme Authorities.

The Channnel Clusters programme is a business development programme tailored specifically towards helping small- to medium-sized food & drink suppliers in export markets. The ‘Channel Clusters’ project will see firms benefit from hands-on mentoring from experts and exposure at a key international trade fair next year. As well as exhibiting under the Irish Exporters Association umbrella at the Food & Drink Expo 2010 in Birmingham next March and working together in best-practice sharing workshops, each company will also get a solid business opportunity with the programme’s Channel Partner, La Rousse Foods, a leading premium food service supplier.


The programme includes 5 days of tailored business mentoring for each company with Business Development Consultant, Ronan Gillespie, of Next Step International. The economic downturn and continuing price deflation in the food & drink sector over the last 12 months have forced suppliers to identify business growth opportunities at home and in export markets, and to look at ways of making their businesses more efficient.

Godfrey Lydon of the Irish Exporters Association said “The Channel Clusters Project is the complete package of assistance for food companies needing to make the break-through in terms of sales growth at home and overseas and developing new products and brands”. “With companies under pressure as a result of low consumer confidence and tighter disposable income, the need for hands-on expertise and assistance to get their product to market and keep it there is greater than ever.

The Channel Clusters Programme will help them do this. “Despite the downturn, the food and drink sector continues to employ around 100,000 people directly and indirectly, has total output in the region of €20 billion and accounts for 2/3 of exports by indigeneous manufacturing companies, which means that the sector needs to be helped get back on its feet and ready to compete.”

The Channel Clusters Programme will have a minimum 30 participating food companies in Ireland from 2009 to 2011. “It’s great to see these 5 companies addressing the new business environment in such a proactive way,” commented Ronan Gillespie of Next Step International. “They’re not waiting for things to happen, they’re going to make them happen. Our objective is to help each company, on a one-to-one basis, to identify and exploit business opportunities in export markets. We will work with one of the companies to open up a distribution channel in the U.S. for a new product launch, and with another on added-value product development to tap into the British market”. “In terms of their overall business development, other issues we will address on the programme are branding, cost control and buyer presentations.”

The 5 participants and companies in the La Rousse Foods cluster are:

Marie Kennedy - Dawn Fresh Foods
Thea and Nikki Murphy - Silver Pail Dairy
Pat Clarke - A Growing Pleasure
Anthony Creswell - Ummera Smoked Products
Donald Walshe - Dromoland Game Sports



Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 November 2010 12:45