Food Business Development & Consulting

Oonagh Monahan is a qualified Food Technologist and is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (UK). She has many years experience working directly in the food industry (Manor Bakeries Ltd., Kerry Group plc) and also providing support to small food businesses. She now works with several food clients on a consultancy basis for business set-up, product development and branding, and with carrying out technical and commercial feasibility studies. Oonagh is a mentor to Small and Medium food producers who wish to start up or expand their business. She works with the client to agree the objective, work out an action plan, and support and facilitate the client in the execution of the steps to build their business.

Oonagh has many years experience working with artisan and local food producers who wish to develop a profitable business venture.

Areas of expertise include:

  • New Product Development – Concept Development and Idea Generation;
  • Food Safety Management – HACCP and Food Hygiene;
  • Food premises layout and design;
  • Technical Feasibility;
  • Labeling Legislation;
  • Packaging Technology development;
  • Shelf life determination;
  • Business Case Analysis;
  • Routes to Market;
  • Funding supports;

She can also facilitate links to local architects for premises design and planning requirements and well as with specialist laboratory and analytical services for microbiological analysis, nutritional analysis and sensory analysis as well as pilot plant facilities.

Oonagh has a strong track record having developed, managed and delivered many food business innovation development programmes, including:

  • Food Specialist to Animate the Small Food Sector in Mayo North East, commenced May 2010. In its Strategic Plan for the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013, Mayo North East LEADER Partnership Company identified the potential of the small food sector in the Mayo North East area as a sector that could bring about and support small local food businesses using local resources. Oonagh Monahan, as the appointed Food Specialist consultant, will organise, promote, co-ordinate and deliver a series of tasks for the development of the small food sector in the region;
  • Feasibility Study on Developing the Sheepmeat sector in Co. Wicklow and exploring the Potential for County Wicklow Partnership, Sept 2009 – April 2010. The aim of the study is to fully evaluate the options and opportunities for sheep producers in Wicklow to gain a higher premium for their quality lamb in order to offer economic sustainability for this enterprise and to explore the possibility of building a brand for Wicklow lamb. Ultimately the aim of the study will be to establish how Wicklow producers can sell more lamb at a higher price;
  • West Cavan West Fermanagh regeneration project – mentor to farm based food business in Co. Fermanagh, assisting with routes to market, packaging and labelling, Brand development (Unique Selling Point), business to business networking, skills development and training requirements, sourcing training courses, developing the provenance, marketing plan, nutritional and health benefits of the products, Protected Geographical Indication, Slaughter / Processing Partner options, benchmarking against competitors, cost analysis and pricing, and signposting to other resources;
  • Food Technology Transfer Initiative for the BMW Regional Assembly Innovative Actions programme;
  • Facilitating Innovation in Functional Foods (Irish Central Border Area Network);
  • Innovation Driving Economic Activity – I.D.E.A. – (funded by the International Fund for Ireland and Fás);
  • Business Mentoring For Winners for Líonra, funded through the BMW Regional Assembly;
  • Ireland Newfoundland Partnership Bursary for Seafood development;
  • ICBAN Bursary for Organic Bread development under the rd Level Education Network Technology & Innovation Programme;
  • Innovation Partnerships – Enterprise Ireland funded Feasibility Research projects;
  • Innovation Vouchers – Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouchers
  • Research – Alpha Omega carries out short-term research projects for clients. Such reports can be used to make an application for funding or as a basis for lobbying for changes in legislation. To date position papers including recommendations based on the research findings for both food and tourism clients have been published.
    Do You Need a Speaker for Your Next Event?

    Oonagh is an engaging and enthusiastic speaker, and is available to talk about food business startup, SME business growth and development, female entrepreneurship, and Innovation & Creativity. Oonagh also encourages others to write and talks about how she commercialised her knowledge by capturing it in a book.

    The Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Small Food Business

    assets/uploads/Money_for_Jam_cover.jpgNow available to order online! 

    Have you ever thought about trying to earn some money from producing food? Are you the person everyone goes to for their lemon meringue pies, apple tarts and other desserts for family occasions or other events? Do you have a garden of rhubarb or other fruit? Do you make jam every year and give it away when you could be selling it? Do you fancy the idea of making cheese or yogurt or ice cream but don’t know where to start?

    If so, then this is the book for you! Learn more ...

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