Ten Irish food and drink companies are to take part in a new programme run by Bord Bia and Musgrave MarketPlace.

The aim of the Food Service Academy is to help small Irish food and drink companies develop their business in the foodservice market.

The programme, coordinated by Bord Bia, will take place over four months and comprise of workshops and mentoring, with the first workshop starting today.

Representatives from Musgrave MarketPlace will participate in the workshops, offering advice in areas such as supplier set-up, food safety requirements and distribution model as well as sales and the marketing support.

Commenting on the initiative, Bord Bia’s Foodservice Specialist Maureen Gahan said: “The foodservice market is delivering real growth and value for Irish food and drink companies, as is evidenced in our recent industry report.

“The ‘out of home’ market is now worth €6.37bn and this is forecasted to grow to almost €6.9bn by 2018 so this is an area we encouraging companies to develop.”

Authentic corn tortilla producer Blanco Nino, and Nobó, the dairy free ice-cream company have already been set up as suppliers in advance of the programme.

Other companies taking part include bakery, seafood, pork, and beverage producers.