Sustainability For Food & Drinks Businesses – West Cork

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If you are a Food & Drinks Business then this FULLY FUNDED Sustainability Programme is for you!


SECAD’s “Sustainability for Food and Drink Businesses” programme aims to provide practical training support to food and drink businesses wishing to pursue more environmentally conscious actions within their business operations. The programme has been designed and developed in collaboration with our expert delivery partners, The Clean Technology Centre (MTU), SustHub and Change by Degrees and will be delivered through a series of live online workshops, one-2-one training opportunities and case study site visits to explore best practice in action. By adopting this holistic approach, participants will be supported to identify practical and achievable solutions which address sustainability challenges such as:

  • Sustainable sourcing & supply chain practices,
  • Packaging, energy, water & waste,
  • Consumer education,
  • Carbon emissions, renewable energy and climate change.

The programme targets food and drinks businesses located within South and West Cork. Invaluable support can also be provided to those considering taking the first steps towards achieving accredited sustainability status under programmes such as Bord Bia’s Origin Green Programme and BIM’s Green Seafood Business Programme.

Why Should Your Business Take Part?

In today’s competitive business landscape, sustainability and authentic green credentials are no longer ‘nice to haves’, but ‘must haves’. Business owners are now accountable for their financial, social, and environmental responsibilities and the legacy they wish to leave in our world. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals reinforce the responsibility of food businesses across the production and supply chain to feed the world sustainably and reduce their environmental footprint. But how can you, as a business, make practical and cost-efficient changes to help achieve this?

Join our expert trainers and immerse your business in the why, the what, the how, the when and the where of sustainability. Gain a clearer understanding of how your business can play a role in addressing issues such as climate change, carbon, stakeholder engagement, resource efficiency, value generation, design thinking and the circular economy. Develop action plans which will drive your sustainability performance while also identifying greener and potentially more cost-effective methods of production and distribution. Learn practical, affordable tips, tools and skills and avail of tailored business supports to apply immediately in your business.

Training is fully funded under the LEADER Food Initiative, part of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, so there is no cost to participating businesses.

Eligibility Criteria

This programme is designed to support artisan, micro, small and medium-sized food and drink and businesses wishing to improve or implement sustainable practices.

To qualify, participants should be:

  • Based within South or West Cork (with priority given to those located in SECAD’s South and West Cork LEADER areas)
  • An established food/drink business already trading or in the process of registration
  • Committed to attending the online workshops in order to avail of the one-to-one training supports.

Further details on the programme can be found in the programme handbook or by contacting / 021 461 3432.

To apply for this programme, please complete this Application Form.

Programme Overview

Running from September 2021 – February 2022, this training programme will include the following :

  • 10 x 2-hour, live and interactive, online workshops which will give participants a more in-depth understanding of sustainability issues relevant to the food sector and provide practical tools for developing and implementing sustainability action plans.
  • The opportunity to avail of tailored ‘one-2-one’ on-site/virtual training with our expert trainers who will provide support unique to your own business needs.
  • Case study site visits to experience best-practice sustainability/resource efficiency in action (Covid restrictions permitting)
  • Networking and collaboration opportunities

Live, online workshops will run fortnightly from 10 am-12 pm on designated days. Modules covered in the training programme will include:

  1. Sustainability – The What and The How (to include green finance and green procurement)
  2. Resource Efficiency (managing energy, water and waste)
  3. Our Food and Our Environment
  4. Climate Change – Measure your Carbon Footprint
  5. Communication – Engaging the Marketplace – Understanding Consumer Behaviour and Sustainable Consumption
  6. Managing Food Waste
  7. Packaging, Storage, Transport & Distribution: Sustainable Supply Chain Design
  8. Building a Sustainability Culture – Engaging Employees & Suppliers
  9. Circular Economy Proposition Design
  10. Design Thinking, Innovation & Sustainability

One-to-One Training and Support

In addition to the online workshops, the programme offers tailored one-2-one support (either on-site at your business or virtually) which will focus on the specific needs of your business and reviewing your sustainability goals. Our delivery partners have significant expertise in working directly with client companies across multiple sectors. They will work closely with business owners/key staff to assess existing practices and identify solutions that will enable them to achieve their sustainability goals and improve resource efficiency. A key outcome of the one-2-one training will be to develop an action plan for the business where the business will agree on a number of “key projects” that could be further analysed and costed.

Programme Facilitators

SUSTHUB; A clear stream solutions business

SUSTHub is Ireland premier provider of sustainability, carbon footprinting, ESG reporting and circular economy learning programmes. Formed in 2020 sustHub identified the gap in leader’s awareness of sustainability and associated areas. SUSTHub enables executive leadership teams, board members, and senior leadership team, to accelerate their organizations’ sustainability performance.

Brian O’Kennedy
Dr. Declan Brogan

Clean Technology Centre (CTC)

The Clean Technology Centre at Cork Institute of Technology provides consultancy to organisations in all key areas of sustainability. CTC scientists and engineers provide expertise in the identification and implementation of resource-efficient and sustainable options in a wide range of manufacturing and service sectors. CTC has been providing innovative and effective resource efficiency solutions since being established in 1992. We have a proven track record in sustainability, environmental protection, and resource efficiency. CTC has delivered high-quality research outputs, original training programmes, as well as proven project management solutions for over 25 years to many different clients.

James Hogan
Keelin Tobin

Change by Degrees

Change by Degrees is a sustainability consultancy with over 20 years of international experience in climate and environment strategy, communications and employee and customer engagement. Our consultancy services enable businesses to grow better, by responding effectively to the increasing demand for sustainable business practice, through workshops, SDG mapping, strategy development and best practice policy guidance. We bring environmental sustainability and climate change know-how to your business to help you assess climate risk, build resilience, secure supply chains, attract and retain staff, respond to changing regulations and communicate your impact with legitimacy. Our tailored advice and communications planning will increase employee loyalty and productivity and ultimately reduce business costs. Change by Degrees has delivered training and workshops to businesses in Ireland on all aspects of sustainability policy and strategy, employee education and engagement and reporting and communications. We tailor our training services to each clients’ needs and industry.

Dr. Tara Shine
Madeline Murray

Course Content

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What is SICAP?

The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022 is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Rural and Community Development and co-funded by the European Social Fund under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.

What are my rights after registration?

Under the Irish Data Protection Acts and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016 you have a right to request a copy of your personal information at any time. You can get this information by contacting us on 021-4613432 or by email through

You can withdraw your consent to provide any of the information needed for SICAP and have your file deleted.

You can do this by contacting us on 021-4613432 or by email through

How is my data used?

The information we record about you is used for five main purposes:

  1. To establish if you are eligible for the programme.
  2. To review how we assisted you so we can provide you with the best possible tailored supports.
  3. To share your name and contact details with other service providers (e.g. ETB, Citizen Information Centre, Local Employment Service), as agreed with you in your Personal Action Plan, so we can make referrals and appointments on your behalf.
  4. To produce statistics which will help us plan and improve our services; so we can provide our funders with aggregated data to assist them in providing a better national service.
  5. Your data may be reviewed from time to time as part of a programme audit.

Some of the information we require is personal data such as your name and address, your phone number, your economic status, gender and age band etc. We need this in order to be able to contact you, to deliver a tailored service, and to know about the people who are engaging with SICAP. We will also be asking for your Personal Public Service Number (PPSN). This is voluntary and you do not have to provide it.

The PPSN will help us and Pobal to track your progress over time, which will allow programme outcomes to be assessed.

We will be asking you for sensitive personal data. All sensitive data is voluntary and you do not have to provide this. Sensitive information is your ethnic/cultural background and if you have a disability. It is asked because it The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022 is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Rural and Community Development and co-funded by the European Social Fund under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020. gives us more detail on which people are using SICAP and the extent to which different groups are receiving supports, and so we can monitor equality of access.

SICAP Registration

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