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Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton, has welcomed the allocation of €172,652 in LEADER funding for three local food production businesses. The funding is being made available by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine through the LEADER Food Initiative is managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development.

“It is great news that three Cork East Constituency food production businesses, Hodgins Sausages Ltd, Frank Hederman and Ellen Lewis Hanley, have been successful under the LEADER Food Initiative. This initiative will provide up to €15 million over the next two years to support the development of food and drink businesses throughout rural Ireland.

“Hodgins Sausages Ltd who are based in Mitchelstown have secured substantial funding of €156,586.50 to purchase equipment which will support this family run businesss todevelop two new product categories.

“Frank Hederman who runs an artisan smokehouse at Belvelly on Great Island also secured €9,617.50. These funds were provided to enhance the refrigeration facilities at his plant which forms part of a phased strategic development plan.

“Ellen Lewis Hanley based in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork will receive €6,448.28 for the expansion of baking facility to allow for product diversification and new product offering.

The LEADER Food Initiative a range of business needs such as the renovation and extension of production facilities and the purchase of processing equipment. It also provides vital supports to businesses in the artisan food and beverage sector particularly with regard to business development such as market development, competitiveness, and innovation.

Minister Stanton continued: “The food and drinks sector is one of Ireland’s most innovative indigenous industries and is a vital source of employment in rural areas. The funding approved today will make a real difference to product and process development for these diverse and exciting small, micro and artisanal food businesses, and help to position them to avail of future market opportunities.

“I understand that LEADER Food Initiative will continue to support other food producers over the next two years. Anyone interested in applying or getting further information on this tailored funding programme should go to: