More than €156,000 for equipment to diversify into frozen and vegetarian sausages in Co Cork. €120,000 for the expansion of a manufacturing facility for healthy snacks in Co Kerry. Nearly €30,000 for training for artisan, micro and small food business in Co Limerick. Over €30,000 for a food incubation hub and community kitchen in Co Mayo. These are just some of the 20 projects that have received funding under the LEADER Food Initiative; and with €15m in the pot to be allocated by the end of 2020, this represents a significant opportunity for small rural businesses.

Speaking to Irish Country Living, JP Mulherin, principal officer for the management and implementation of the LEADER programme, explains that the €15m fund was launched last May following a decision at national level to prioritise funding for small rural food businesses.