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New opportunity for Carlow and Tipperary businesses in the Food and Drink sector to look into a sustainable future with EU funded programme.


Carlow and Tipperary businesses in the Food and Drink sector are been given the opportunity to participate in a no-cost new programme called Optimization: Sustainable Development Business Development Programme through the EU funded CATALYST project.

CATALYST is a cross-border pilot project involving Carlow County Council, Tipperary County Council and IT Carlow on the Irish side that aims to use sustainable development to drive design and innovation for Welsh and Irish SMEs. One of the two areas CATALYST focusses on which are priority sectors of the Ireland – Wales programme is Food & Drink.

The “Optimization: Sustainable Development Business Development Programme” is aimed at owner managers and key staff of SMEs based in Carlow and Tipperary. Its objective is to introduce participants to the benefits of the principles of Sustainability, the Circular Economy and how they can add value to their business in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals. The programme will be delivered fully on-line by experts with over 20 years of experience working in sustainability in both the SME and policy sector and who hold an MSc in Sustainable Development and Environment from University College London, an MSc in Organic Farming from the renowned Scottish Agricultural College (SRUC).

The Programme is aimed at owner managers and key staff of SME’s based in County Carlow & Tipperary. It takes place over 2 days with focused mentoring will be provided to each business. The programme will be delivered fully on-line.

Participants will select a Sustainable Development Goal that matches their business’ needs and focus. There will be two sessions on-line by a mentor to help the company in the establishing and implementing of the goal.

Speaking about the programme which will be delivered fully on-line due to current COVID-19 restrictions , Jim Woods , European Project Officer at Carlow County Council – Local Enterprise Office said “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests”, Woods continued to say “participants in the programme will be introduced to the 17 SDGs and helped to identify one of particular relevance to their business which they can then use as a basis to improve their sustainability while simultaneously improving their bottom line and working towards the circular economy”

Business Advisor with Tipperary County Council, Local Enterprise Office Michael Begley, commenting said “ the programme presents a real opportunity for participant businesses to learn how the practical application of Sustainable Goals can help their business while Introducing them to the benefits of the principles of the Circular Economy and its business models for engagement with customers and suppliers in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals”. Begley continued to say “businesses will get the opportunity to access expert help with the creation of new and sustainable products and processes”. The programme commences on 8th May 2020 and will be delivered remotely.

For further information log onto www.localenterprise.ie/carlow or call 059-9129783