Applications open for food start-ups programme
Food Works 2015 offers business development advice and training for ambitious food and beverage entrepreneurs.

Applications are now open for ambitious food and beverage entrepreneurs to take part in Food Works 2015, a business development and training programme for food and drink start-ups.

The 2015 programme, run by Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc, was officially launched today at Wicklow Wolf Brewery in Bray, Co Wicklow. The brewery was one of the programmes 2014 participants and plans to create 16 new jobs in the coming years as it grows its business.

Food or drink entrepreneurs, or companies trading for less than four years, developing an innovative product and looking to expand their business are being sought to take part in the programme. The Food Works programme aims to help young companies to work towards becoming major international businesses in markets across the globe while creating new jobs at home. Successful companies will be introduced to suitable investors to help them to fund a scalable business during the programme.

Information meetings will be take place across the country for those interested in participating on 15 October in the Radisson Hotel, Athlone, Co Westmeath, 21 October in Tayto Park, Ashbourne, Co Meath and Cork Institute of Technology, Co Cork. All meetings start at 5.30pm.

Over the past two years, a total of 43 start-ups from dairy, snacks, meat, seafood and beverages have participated in the Food Works programme.

Quincey Fennelly, co-founder of Wicklow Wolf said: “Once we made the decision to produce beer on a commercial level, we decided to look for help from wherever we could get it. The Food Works programme was recommended to us and we were delighted to be accepted to take part. It was very challenging and brought us on many occasions outside our comfort zone, but, it really helped us to become more disciplined about planning our business for the future for both the domestic and the export market. I would recommend it to anyone who has a good business idea who has the ambition to develop it into a strong food business capable of exporting around the world.”

Rachel Nolan, co-founder of Nobó and a participant in Food Works 2013 says her business has come a long way since participating in the programme. “After first launching into stores eight months ago, our first product ‘Frozen Goodness’ is now available in over 100 stores around the country. This will be increasing significantly over the next number of weeks as the product is rolled out to SuperValu stores nationwide. We were delighted to recently receive two Great Taste Awards in the UK and to be included in the Great Taste ‘Top 50 Foods’ in the UK and Ireland out of 10,000 products entered and tasted."

To register to attend the seminars, or for more information on Food Works 2015, visit

Deadline looms for Aryzta shareholders interested in voting at 2018 AGM
Aryzta shareholders interested in voting at the 2018 AGM are advised to contact their broker by tomorrow at the latest.

Aryzta shareholders have until midday on Wednesday 24 October to register their shares to vote at the company’s upcoming AGM, which will take place on Thursday 1 November.

In order to register shares for voting at the upcoming AGM, shareholders in Aryzta are advised to contact their brokers by tomorrow.

Aryzta’s 2018 AGM will include a proposal to raise €800m in fresh capital by way of a rights issue.

Aryzta management are seeking approval to raise this €800m in new capital to deliver a multi-year turnaround plan for the company.

O'Brien Fine Foods parent to take over Greene Farm Fine Foods
The two cooked meats companies have notified the competition watchdog of their intention to merge.

Goldreed Holdings Unlimited Company is set to acquire the entire capital of Greene Farm Fine Foods Limited from KepCar Investments Limited, according to a notification to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

Naas, Co Kildare-based Goldreed is part of the O'Brien family-controlled group of companies that produce various processed cooked meats under the Homebird and Brady Family brands, as well as retailer own-label brands.

Greene Farm Fine Foods Limited, which is based in Rathowen, Co Westmeath, supplies a range of bulk and pre-pack poultry cooked meats, as well as sliced cooked own-label bulk and pre-packed beef.

Expanding group

The move follows the clearance of the acquisition of Faughan Foods Limited and its parent company Tombolo Limited last year by Silvereed Unlimited, the parent company of Goldreed.

According to CCPC filings at the time, the corporate structure of the expanding group is as follows:

  • Bronzereed Unlimited, a private unlimited company incorporated in Ireland, is owned by William O’Brien, John O’Brien, Niall O’Brien and Orlaith O’Brien.
  • Bronzereed owns Silvereed, a private unlimited company incorporated in the Isle of Man.
  • Silvereed owns Goldreed Holdings.
  • Goldreed Holdings owns O’Brien Fine Foods Unlimited Company and Crinkle Fine Foods Unlimited Company.
  • O’Brien Fine Foods is the principal operating company within the Bronzereed Group and owns the Brady Family and Rudds brands.
  • Read more

    20 minutes with John O’Brien, O’Brien Fine Foods

    Profits soar for Aldi’s UK and Ireland businesses
    Sales at Aldi’s UK and Ireland stores broke the £10bn mark for the first time in 2017.

    German discounter Aldi saw operating profits increase by more than a quarter (+26%) for its 2017 financial year to hit £266m (€300m), as profit margins in the business expanded from 2.4% in 2016 to a healthy 2.6% last year.

    Five times faster

    Aldi said sales at its UK and Ireland stores grew five times faster than the overall grocery market, with sales increasing more than 16% throughout 2017 to reach £10.2bn (€11.5bn). This is the first time Aldi’s sales have broken the £10bn mark since it entered the UK and Irish markets.

    The German supermarket is now ranked as the fifth largest in the UK, having eked out a 7.6% share of the £185bn UK grocery market.

    In Ireland, Aldi is the also the fifth-largest supermarket, with an 11.6% share of the market.

    During 2017, Aldi said it attracted almost 16m customers, which is a 1.1m increase on the previous year.

    “While other grocers introduced more complexity into their businesses, we stuck to our guns and focused on doing what Aldi does best – buying smart, staying lean, improving quality and keeping prices low,” said chief executive of Aldi UK and Ireland Giles Hurley.