Network of 32 Tipperary based Artisan Food SME Producers who work as a group to sustain, grow and develop their businesses.
TFPN was established in 2008 by a group of Tipperary artisan SME producers who recognised the potential in working together as a group to develop their businesses. The objective of the Network is to showcase the best of Tipperary Food and to scale to international markets in UK, Europe and USA.
Members meet regularly to discuss all matters relating to food, to innovate, and to plan and organise Network initiatives, such as:
• adoption and implementation of a County Food Strategy
• Hosting Long Table Dinner
• Tipperary Food Connect Programme – a pioneering initiative delivered to schools
• Collaborative marketing initiatives through strategic partnerships e.g. Tipperary Pop-Up Food Boutique
• Developing the profile of the Network through targeted media relationships resulting in coverage by leading food media
• Raising the profile of Tipperary as a premium sustainable culinary destination
• Artisan SME food producers supported to promote products at international food fairs e.g. London Fine Food Fair; Anuga, Cologne; Sial, Paris.
• Development of a signature "Tipperary Breakfast" based on members’ products
• Publication of a children’s book entitled the ‘Tipperary Food Tour’ and associated educational programme for children
• Currently undertaking a sustainability initiative to drive food SME tourism in the County
- Financial and Human Resources - approx. €10k
- Mentoring and Advice - peer to peer networking, mentoring and advice
- Strategic direction - approx. €3 - 4k
Evidence of success
TFPN has helped the members with:
Knowledge transfer/ mentoring among SMEs
Enhanced profile and shared marketing and PR opportunities
Innovation in eco sustainable production practices and quality standards through participation in Origin Green, Ireland’s Food and Drink Sustainability Programme
32 members accredited or working towards accreditation
7 attending trade fairs in Germany and UK in 2019
Some projects are ambitious considering that all SME members are volunteers so time is an issue. It is a challenge to deliver a programme of activity with existing resources - education, tourism, marketing, brand development.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Tipperary Food Producers Network has evolved into a strong community of SMEs that support and complement each other through sharing ideas, experiences and opportunities; as well as working collectively to raise the profile of Tipperary as a producer of eco-friendly foods.
The Network’s main strength is its SME members who actively drive, participate and lend their expertise to the Network’s activities and initiatives. The Network has also provided valuable opportunities for individual business growth and cross-selling among members, as well as the sharing of business contacts, supports and resources.
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