The Irish partnership has been facilitated by the strategic regional economy project- the Upper Shannon Erne Future Economy project – USEFE, a joint initiative between businesses, the Local Authorities of Cavan, Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon, Bord Na Mona and ESB.  It enables businesses to proactively influence and assist with the broader economic development of the region and identify opportunities for synergies across sectors and between various scales of business.

Food is a priority focus in the region and Nourish EU is assisting USEFE to transform the area into an innovative, healthy and creative food region.  USEFE operates on the basis of a joint initiative between municipalities and businesses of varying sizes within key sectors for the region.  This results in identifying an opportunity for shared learning and development of the region as a healthy food stronghold.

  • Partnership Meeting
  • Our aim – USEFE Partnership in Ireland
  • Launch of the Nourish eu Toolkit in Ireland
  • Healthy Food Conference, Drumshanbo, October 2015
  • Panel Discussion, Healthy Food Conference, Drumshanbo, October 2015

Approach used to start the partnership

The creation of the Nourish EU partnership in Ireland started with bilateral meetings with key food support bodies with the idea to have their understanding and support as the basic step in creation of the partnership. This included Leitrim County Council, a large dairy co-operative, VET providers, SMEs and companies. We then presented the project to the USEFE food group with a view of augmenting and adding new value to their work. This was welcomed and co-working was advanced through a series of meetings culminating in a well attended and highly regarded Multiplier Event in October 2015.

The decision to join an existing partnership has proven to be a wise one; it has avoided replication and has given the Nourish Eu project fast track access to the key policy makers and influencers in the region.  The benefits work both ways – USEFE benefits from the broader EU perspective on a specialist niche in the food sector and has the opportunity to look at wider regional food opportunities. In particular The Food Hub’s work on orchestrating industry learning placements has been very popular with SMEs and the opportunity to avail of free industry training is a real ‘draw’ for the project.

A main feature of the Partnership is the knowledge sharing ethos where smaller companies can learn from the innovative approaches of regional food champions. The role of the region’s leading dairy co-operatives Aurivo and Lakeland Dairies must be acknowledged – they have been proactively open to sharing their experiences and practical knowledge and contacts in a very progressive manner.  Their Corporate Social Responsibility must be commended.

“We are only beginning to see the potential of healthy foods. Do not forget, we are an agri-based economy and are not as innovative as we should be. I have been made aware of market trends, cost saving measures and routes to market as a result of my involvement in the partnership – for me, it has been an invaluable learning experience “

Irish Partnership – Stakeholder Insight

“Nourish EU has allowed us to put a sharp focus on the opportunities available for industry through healthy food initiatives. The collaboration with USEFE has been important in building a regional food ecosystem with ambitious plans.”

Irish Partnership – Stakeholder Insight


Launch of the nourish eu Toolkit


  • When: Wednesday 14th October 2015, 10am to 5.30pm
  • Where: Lough Allen Hotel, Drumshanbo, County Leitrim.

On the 14th  October 2015, The Food Hub and Momentum organised a special event, the aim of which was to launch of Nourish EU’s ‘Irish Healthy Food Partnership Toolkit’.  The event programme also included a Spotlight on Distribution, Learning from Others, and focus on Financing Innovation.

Food producers who attended were interested in innovating healthier food ranges by either modifying their existing ranges or developing new products.  Some healthy local foods showcased at the event included Aurivo’s  Connaught Gold Low Fat Butter and For Goodness Shakes range as well as Lakeland Dairy who supply all of the UK milk for schools programme with a low sugar milk drink to smaller artisan producers.

Fergal McPartland,  Manager of the Food Hub in Leitrim, explained their involvement with the conference which “stems from being a partner in the Nourish EU project to encourage SME’s to innovate & develop ‘healthier food’ options for consumers. We are looking at ways to deliver healthier and profitable products and to grow food businesses through innovation.”

Profile of the event attendees – spotlight on our healthy food producers


Find out more about the Nourish Eu Irish Partnership in the USEFE Region

Partners in Ireland:
Momentum Marketing Services

The Food Hub