- JCR Network Services Ltd are pleased to announce the appointment of their Director James Coyle as Specialist Mentor-Marketing for the Agri-Food Co-operation Scheme
The Agri-Food Co-operation Scheme (AFCS) is a new scheme which will be funded through the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme.
The aim of the scheme is to reduce fragmentation and improve competitiveness and sustainability within the agri-food sector. It will facilitate groups (where the lead applicant is a primary producer) to do this by helping to:
access improved market information / knowledge flow – allowing producers to make more robust production decisions, and to become more responsive to changing market conditions
acquire and /share new knowledge and skills to introduce novel practices / processes – to improve resource efficiency
improve product specification, consistency and marketing to add additional value to NI agricultural and horticultural produce (including setting up and promoting food tourism initiatives that are consistent with Tourism NI strategy)
How will the scheme work?
The scheme provides a range of support tools which can be tailored to meet the needs of a group. This includes:
facilitation and mentoring support to help develop the group and project idea and provide support through the implementation phase
training to provide group members with the knowledge and skills to help implement their project
study visits to look at new approaches and ideas and learn from best practice elsewhere
market research and market information to provide a more focused approach to addressing market requirements
business tools to help the functioning of the group
group must have a minimum of two entities
Support can be allocated to new or existing groups. However, for support to be granted to an existing group, it must be to develop a business plan for a new joint Eligibility
The scheme is focused on securing benefit for the agri-food production sector. The lead applicant should be from the NI agricultural or horticultural production sector.
the project must deal with products whose main components must already be, or could be, produced in Northern Ireland
a group must have a minimum of two entities
support can be allocated to new or existing groups. However, for support to be granted to an existing group, it must be to develop a business plan for a new joint project
the scheme will only support plans for projects which involve innovative/unique characteristics, with low displacement implications and the potential to add net benefits to the Northern Ireland economy
The scheme will not accept applications from fisheries or aquaculture businesses, forestry businesses, or from businesses where output is for the energy market.
How to apply
This scheme is being delivered for DAERA by Countryside Services Ltd (CSL)
- There is a two stage application process.
The first stage requires you to submit a short expression of interest form. Eligible applications will be provided up to 5 days facilitation support to further progress the idea and develop a full (second stage) application for the scheme. This will also include a business plan.
Where can I find out more information?
For more information on the Agri-Food Co-operation Scheme, contact CSL via their website https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/agri-food-co-operation-scheme-afcs
- EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
- or call 028 877 88207.