Specialist Mentor-Marketing for the Agri-Food Co-operation Scheme

Posted by Jim on May 28, 2019  /   Posted in Blog
  • 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
    Important information
    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: agrifood@countrysideservices.com
  • or call 028 877 88207.

About Jim

James is a director with JCR Network Services Ltd, which provides sales, marketing and business development expertise to local SMEs in Ireland and the UK. Many businesses have developed their growth strategies through our focussed actions. We specialise in helping the agri-food , emerging technology, manufacturing and services sectors.

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