Taste of Togher, Annagassan

LEADER Food Initiative

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) are jointly issuing a ‘Call’ for applications from project applicants wishing to receive grant aid under the LEADER Food Initiative (for Artisan, Micro and Small food producers).

These project applications must be submitted through the Local Action Groups (LAGs) whose Local Development Strategies have been approved for LEADER funding under the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020 and Regulation (EU) No. 1305/2013.

Areas of Funding Criteria

This initiative aims to support new and existing food and beverage producers to address emerging challenges through investment in areas such as (1) market development, (2) competitiveness, and (3) innovation.

Support for food producers, may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Artisan, Micro and Small food producers, including those with a focus on collaborative proposals, aimed at production quality and market issues;
  • Regional product development, including a focus on marketing distinctive local foodstuffs;
  • Marketing and processing for strategically identified sectors, including honey and apple processors;
  • Improved marketing, product quality and business skills through support for innovative collaborative processes and so address challenges to co-operation identified in studies on facilitating short supply chains e.g. entry barriers, the need for shared understanding, skills/training, and marketing and business skills deficits.

Eligibility Conditions

Projects must be:

  • In the areas of (1) market development, (2) competitiveness or (3) innovation and must be in line with the objectives of the LDS framework for the sub-regional area;
  • Project applicants must be an Artisan, Micro or Small food producers and registered as a food producer with the relevant Competent Authority as per Regulation (EC) No 852/2004; (For Registration as a Food Producer, please contact FSAI: https://www.fsai.ie/food_businesses/starting_business/register.html )


If the applicant is not a food business the project must deliver benefit to artisan, micro and small food producers.

Eligible Costs

The costs that are eligible for funding would include support for:

  • the construction, acquisition or improvement of immovable property; 
  • the purchase of new machinery and equipment;
  • intangible investments such as the development of computer software and the acquisition of patents, licences, copyrights or trademarks; and,
  • second-hand equipment as per section 14.4 of the LEADER Operating Rules.

Funding Limits

LAG's may not approve funding of less than €5,000 for a project.  The maximum amount of funding permitted is €200,000 per project and the funding rates are as set out in Section 9.2 of the LEADER 2014 – 2020 Operating Rules.

To Apply

If your project meets the eligibility conditions and you wish to submit an expression of interest please click here:

LEADER Food Initiative EOI