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Irish Food and Drink Companies Encouraged to Apply For Bord Bia/PwC Growth Programme

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Irish Food and Drink Companies Encouraged to Apply For Bord Bia/PwC Growth Programme

Irish Food and Drink Companies Encouraged to Apply For Bord Bia/PwC Growth Programme
March 14
16:51 2016

Bord Bia and PwC have launched a call for applications, from medium-sized food and drink companies, for this year’s Ascent programme. According to Bord Bia, the ‘Ascent’ programme is targeted at companies with a need for bespoke mentoring and support to identify and overcome obstacles to growth. Some of this year’s advice and service offerings include accessing finance, route to market planning, strategy development and business restructuring.

“This year marks the second year of the programme and feedback from last year’s members has been extremely positive,” commentS Maria Stokes, Ascent Programme Manager, Bord Bia. “We worked with a wide range of companies in year one, covering all sectors and sizes, and each had a unique challenge to overcome from distribution and logistics to succession planning and export growth strategies. Through one-to-one advice and mentoring from Bord Bia and PwC, the companies were provided with a customised action plan outlining clear workable solutions.”

Through Ascent, Ballymaloe Foods in Cork, a participant in last year’s programme, were provided with external advice in many areas such as finance, sales and online. Maxine Hyde of Ballymaloe Foods comments: “Ballymaloe Foods were thrilled to be part of the inaugural Bord Bia Ascent programme. It helped us shape our growth plans and ideas on how best to move forward with them. PwC provided excellent advice on succession planning, tax, affording and incentivising key employees. As a result of the programme, we employed a new business development manager and to date we have achieved 12% growth year on year. We also introduced new strategies to help management work together better in addition to new tracking and measurement tools.”

Meanwhile, Pauline Dunne from Killowen Farm in Wexford, who also participated in the last year’s programme, says it more than exceeded her expectations. “The Ascent mentors were the best we ever had in the company. They understood the business challenges very quickly and they dealt with issues head on. The objectives set were met in full, and it gave us the insight to make strategic decisions that has set Killowen on a new growth phase. As a direct result of the programme, we have reviewed our financial planning and managed to cut one day out of the production week, improving our financial efficiencies by 10%.”

Bord Bia has once again partnered with PwC who will assist in terms of the initial diagnostic, problem solving sessions and the mentoring where appropriate. John Dunne, Partner, Private Client Services, PwC, says: “PwC is delighted to be involved in this important initiative supporting Irish food companies and a key sector for our economy. Following the successful launch last year, we look forward to working with the 2016 companies, and hopefully providing the benefit of our experience as they embark on their journey with Ascent.”

Who Should Apply

Applications are now open for companies interested in being a part of this year’s Ascent programme. Applicants should have an annual turnover between €1 million and €20 million. There is a €500 participation fee for companies who wish to avail of this service. Deadline for applications is Wednesday, March 30th.

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