LEADER Food Initiative

In May 2018 the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, in conjunction with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, launched the ‘LEADER Food Initiative’ an exciting opportunity for artisan and small food and beverage businesses to access up to €200,000 in grant aid through the LEADER Programme 2014-2020.


Ring Photo


Scheme Outline

The initiative aims to provide financial assistance to eligible businesses, both new and existing, for the renovation and extension of production facilities, the purchasing of processing equipment in addition to supporting applicants in areas including market development, competitiveness, and innovation.

Supports under this initiative may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Artisan, Micro and Small food producers, including those with a focus on collaborative proposals, aimed at production quality and market issues;
  • Regional product development, including a focus on marketing distinctive local foodstuffs;
  • Marketing and processing for strategically identified sectors, including honey and apple processors;
  • Improved marketing, product quality and business skills through support for innovative collaborative processes and so address challenges to co-operation identified in studies on facilitating short supply chains e.g. entry barriers, the need for shared understanding, skills/training, and marketing and business skills deficits.

Project Eligibility

In order for potential applications to be considered eligible, they must be:

  • In the areas of (1) market development, (2) competitiveness or (3) innovation and must be in line with the objectives of the LDS framework for the sub-regional area;
  • Project applicants must be an Artisan, Micro or Small food producers and registered as a food producer with the relevant Competent Authority as per Regulation (EC) No 852/2004; (For Registration as a Food Producer, please contact FSAI: https://www.fsai.ie/food_businesses/starting_business/register.html)
  • If the applicant is not a food business, the project must deliver a benefit to artisan, micro and small food producers.

Funding Limits

The minimum amount of funding available under this initiative is €5,000 with the maximum set at €200,000 per project.  Funding will be provided for capital investment, analysis and development or training.

Expressions of Interest

Meath Partnership would like to invite artisan and small food businesses based within Co. Meath to contact us to discuss the available funding opportunities and any potential projects which they may have. Alternatively you can download and submit an Expression of Interest by clicking here.


Further Information


For further information on the LEADER Food Initiative, please contact the Meath Partnership offices on 046-9280790 or via email at leader@meathpartnership.ie.

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