Creating Entrepreneurs in Food
Professor Yanqing Duan and Dr Yongmei Bentley visited Galway in Ireland for a week-long workshop on developing training curriculum for the EU funded project “Creating Entrepreneurs in Food”.
The project partners from UK, Poland, and Ireland had their one week workshop in Galway, the west seaside town of Ireland early in March 2017. The project lead - GMIT had organised a variety of project activities, including workshops and study visit to farms and farm shops.
The workshop activities included:
- Brain storming on the designing the intended course for training short supply chain entrepreneurs in participating programme countries.
- Presentation of relevant learning materials and teaching approaches from each partner
- Analysis and evaluation of information presented and suggestions as to the most appropriate methods/materials to use for the training course.
- Discussion on the development of a template for providing training materials.
- Meeting with the graduates on the Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship course at GMIT to collate feedback on the course, it strengths and weaknesses and suggested changes.
- Presentation and Interactive workshop from GMIT lecturers regarding teaching methods and resources used when teaching work-based learners.
The farms and farm shops we visited in Ireland included:
- Seaweed manufacture where we learned that the seaweed products can be profitable but are seasonal and depend on many factors including the weather conditions and the availability of workers.
- Aran Goats Cheese –After the farm tour guided by the Farm Owner and entrepreneur where we saw a farm full of well looked after goats (with a lot of baby goats) the modern facilities for making goat cheese, the group discussed the challenges facing food producers in isolated areas.
- The Friendly Farmer where we saw short food supply chain in action – “from farm to fork”. The farm owner and entrepreneur manages a farm with cattle for beef, sheds/buildings for chicken and festival turkey, … and runs a pop-up mobile farm shop which sells well in local market.
- Castlemine Co Roscommon – we visited Castlemine Farm focusing on Short Food Supply Chain in Action and its Farm Shop full of fresh meat, and other farm food products. We were also guided to see meat processing facilities at the back of the farm shop.
- Food 360 – We were also taken to visit Food 360 where cold fresh meat and other farm products are stored and distributed. The co-owner of the company gave us a long Q&A session covering the operation processes of the short fresh food supply chain which demonstrated the effects of collaboration and networking, as well as solutions to the distribution challenges face by food producers.
It has been a very fruitful week for the project. We have gained a better understanding on the training needs of the target groups through our field visits and agreed on the core training materials and delivery methods based on our shared knowledge and understanding. Above all, we have thoroughly enjoyed working with the project partners. We look forward to seeing them in Luton in October 2017.
Professor Yanqing Duan