LEADER Programme – Food Initiative Call

An additional call for applications under the LEADER Food Initiative (LFI) has been opened by the Department. Eligible projects are required to apply “Approval in Principle” for their proposed project from the Department of Rural & Community Development before the end of August therefore ALL project proposals MUST be submitted to SKDP by 5pm on Monday, the 28th of August by e-mail to [email protected]

You can download and complete your Project Proposal by clicking on This Link

The Maximum Funding Permitted per project is €200,000 and the funding proposal must not be for less than €5,000.

This call is targeted at the following groups:

  • On-Farm Diversification Enterprises
  • Artisan, Micro & Small Food Businesses

The Criteria for the programme is as follows:

  1. Areas of Funding – LEADER Food Initiative Criteria:

This initiative aims to support Artisan, Micro, Small food producers and farm diversification enterprises. This grant aid is also for investment in local processing facilities, which allow farmers to sell their products into the local and wider domestic markets. Medium enterprises are not eligible under this initiative. 3

  1. 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; and

 Project applicants must be an Artisan, Micro, Small food producer or an on-farm diversification enterprise and registered as a food producer4 with the relevant Competent Authority as per Regulation (EC) No 852/2004;

o Start-up food businesses must be registered as a food producer with the relevant Competent Authority as per Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 before receiving payment under the LEADER Food Initiative [or before receiving final payment where phased payments apply]. Such registration must be included as a condition of funding.

Any phased payments already provided must be recovered by the LAG in the event that the funded entity fails to register as a food producer. As such, it is advised that a significant proportion of the grant amount is reserved for the final payment; and

 Projects must be fully completed by 31 March 2024; and

 Final claims for payment must be submitted to the Department no later than 30 June 2024.

  1. Eligible Costs

The costs that are eligible for funding are the same as for all other projects in accordance with the LEADER 2014 – 2022 Operating Rules. For example, this 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 2014 – 2022 Operating Rules