Teagasc Supporting Irish Food Companies in European SME Week
Teagasc provides a dedicated technology support service to the food processing sector and in particular to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Speaking during European SME week, Pat Daly, Head of Teagasc Food Industry Development said: “Small- to medium-sized food businesses (SMEs) are so important to the Irish economy; making up over ninety percent of food manufacturing companies in the country. These SMEs are located in every county in Ireland and contribute enormously to the local and regional economy in terms of employment and as a key customer and supplier link in the indigenous food supply chain.”
The Teagasc SME technology support service provides practical technical supports and advice for food companies in solving immediate technology issues, and most importantly, also provides clients with access to new knowledge and technology outputs from an extensive food research programme at Teagasc. The support service is delivered by scientists and technologists at its two well resourced food research centres in Ashtown, Dublin and Moorepark, Cork. Teagasc is working in close collaboration with Enterprise Ireland and with other national and regional food development agencies in supporting the food sector.
This week marks the second year of European SME week. At the launch of the first European SME week in May of last year the European Commission vice-president, Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry, opened the SME week in Brussels stating: “The Commission, together with the member states, has worked hard to improve the conditions for small companies. If there is a way out of the economic downturn, the creativity, flexibility and capacity of SMEs will find solutions. Working together we have already achieved improvements, but we must go further. We need more SMEs as they are the true drivers of growth and job creation”.
This week Pat Daly echoed those sentiments pointing out the valuable contribution that indigenous Irish food companies are making in the economy in rural parts of Ireland. He reminded all existing and potential food business clients of the SME support service available from Teagasc for food processing companies.