Speakers – Main Stage

    • Simon Coveney TD - Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence

      Simon Coveney TD – Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence 

      Simon Coveney TD was appointed as Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine on March 9, 2011. For the 6 month period to the end of June 2013 Simon chaired the EU Council of Agriculture & Fisheries Ministers where he was at the forefront regarding EU efforts in respect of Common Agriculture (CAP) as well as Common Fisheries (CFP) Policy reforms. Under his chairmanship both dossiers were progressed significantly, with a reform package for CFP agreed in May 2013 and a reform package for CAP agreed at the end of the Irish Presidency in July. The Defence portfolio was added to his brief on July 11, 2014. He represents the Cork South Central constituency.

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    • John F. Whelan, BSc. MBA. - Chairman

      John F. Whelan, BSc. MBA. – Chairman 

      John is an independent consultant specialising in international trade. He was appointed export industry adviser to the AIB group in January 2014. He is the former chief executive of the Irish Exporters Association   and chairman of the Institute of International Trade. He is chairman of the EU funded Access 6 project to assist the development of   small food and drink businesses on international markets with support from Scottish Enterprise , Invest Ni and Bord Bia On a day to day basis he has been advising Irish exporters large and small on their international trade financing, their ...

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    • Michael Bell- CEO, Northern Ireland Food & Drink Association

      Michael Bell- CEO, Northern Ireland Food & Drink Association 

      Michael has over twenty-nine years experience in the food industry. He worked in the bakery trade in Northern Ireland and Malta for fourteen years. During this period he worked closely with major retailers and obtained a place on the senior management board of Ormeau Bakery. Originally he obtained a Food Science (Hons) degree from The Queen''s University of Belfast. He holds several other food related qualifications, a Chartered Scientist and a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology.  He has been involved in developing NIFDA since its foundation in 1996.  For ten years he wa...

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    • Paul Kelly – Director, Food and Drink Industry Ireland, IBEC

      Paul Kelly – Director, Food and Drink Industry Ireland, IBEC 

      Paul Kelly is director of Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII) a business sector within Ibec. He started his career in risk management with the Insurance Corporation of Ireland before joining Ibec in 1992. Since then he has worked in the Ibec health and safety unit and as director of the Building Materials Federation and the Irish Engineering Enterprises Federation before taking up his current role in 2005. He holds a B Eng in Electronic Engineering from the University of Limerick and a Masters Degree in Applied Science from UCD.

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    • Colin Gordon – Chief Executive – Consumer Products- Glanbia

      Colin Gordon – Chief Executive – Consumer Products- Glanbia 

      Colin is CEO of Glanbia Consumer Foods – Ireland’s largest Consumer Food company. He holds degrees from Trinity College and University College Dublin and is a Fellow of the Marketing Institute. He has extensive experience in FMCG having worked in various leading organisations at senior level over 25 years.

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    • Cathal Fitzgerald - Head of Food & Agriculture Investments - ISIF

      Cathal Fitzgerald – Head of Food & Agriculture Investments – ISIF 

      Head of Food and Agriculture Investments - ISIF National Treasury Management Agency The National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) of Ireland has become the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), facilitating a redeployment of NPRF resources on a commercial basis to areas of productive investment in the Irish economy in order to support economic activity and employment. The ISIF is valued at €7 billion, and is available to invest in Ireland as suitable investment opportunities arise and are developed. The dual objective mandate of the ISIF - investment return and economic impact - represen...

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    • Louise Ryan - Head of Strategic Planning - Irish Distillers / Pernod Ricard

      Louise Ryan – Head of Strategic Planning – Irish Distillers / Pernod Ricard 

      Specialties:Irish, European and Global business experience. Experienced in the areas of strategy development and implementation, brand management, category management, field sales management, national account management, new product launches, brand relaunches, people management and development and project management. Wide range of experience across Food, Petcare, Confectionery, Frozen Foods, Chilled Foods, Drinks, Healthcare & Retail industries.

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    • Raymond Coyle - Chairman - Largo Foods

      Raymond Coyle – Chairman – Largo Foods 

      Raymond Coyle, founder and owner, is Chairman of Largo Foods. Originally from a farming background, Raymond started growing potatoes in the late ‘70s and identified an opening for a small company manufacturing potato crisps. Largo Foods was started in 1984 with 9 people, 6 of whom are still with the company today

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    • Jason Whooley - CEO at Bio-Marine Ingredients Ireland

      Jason Whooley – CEO at Bio-Marine Ingredients Ireland 

      Jason Whooley has been Chief Executive Officer of Bio-marine Ingredients Ireland (BII) since September 2014. Based in Killybegs, BII is a joint venture between Killybegs Fishing interests and Norwegian marine biotech company, Biomarine Science Technology. BII aims to extract high-end proteins, oils and calcium from fish, for use in a range of sectors including food ingredients. Prior to taking up the role in BII, Jason was CEO of the state seafood agency, BordIascaighMhara since 2007. In that position, he was a member of various government led groups including the Implementation Group for Food...

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    • Roisin Hogan - HIRO

      Roisin Hogan – HIRO 

      Roisin Hogan is the founder of HIRO by Roisin, a fresh & healthy food range. It’s hard to put Roisin in one box - she is an accountant by profession, a health food entrepreneur, and impressed on screens in Autumn 2014 on the BBC1’s The Apprentice, making it to the Final Five. Roisin left a promising career in accountancy to take the risk of starting her own food business from scratch. Roisin has now launched her new range HIRO in SuperValus across Ireland. She shares her journey of transitioning from accountant to entrepreneur and how her corporate training prepared her for the food ind...

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    • Malachy O'Connor - Commercial Fresh Foods Director, Tesco

      Malachy O’Connor – Commercial Fresh Foods Director, Tesco 

      Malachy O’ Connor is the Fresh Foods Commercial Category Director for Tesco Ireland where he is responsible for the retailer’s fresh foods buying strategy. He has been with Tesco since April 2014 and has over 18 years’ experience working in retail, having previously held commercial roles in Dunnes Stores, Superquinn, BWG and Aldi. Malachy is passionate about sourcing the best quality fresh foods and his work through the Tesco Taste Bud supplier development programme demonstrates his support for local Irish suppliers. Malachy holds a 1st Class Hons Degree in Food Science from Queens University ...

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    • Paddy Callaghan - Natures Best

      Paddy Callaghan – Natures Best 

      Paddy Callaghan graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCD. He is the founder and Managing Director of one of Ireland’s food manufacturing success stories - Nature’s Best Ltd.  The business is a second generation family owned business and one of the North East’s largest employers. In 1987 while gainfully employed in a regular engineering career, he started growing beansprouts hydroponically in the garage of the family home.  This was the incubator and springboard for what has grown to be Nature’s Best Ltd. His company produces a broad range of chilled convenience Priva...

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    • John Colreavy- Enterprise Ireland

      John Colreavy- Enterprise Ireland 

      Dr. John Colreavy is a Senior Development Advisor within Enterprise Ireland’s Primary Meats & FDI Department. He is responsible for a busy portfolio of leading, developing and emerging meat processing companies in Ireland. John has undertaken a wide range of strategic and developmental scaling projects with companies ranging from small start-up enterprises through to scaling medium sized companies and working with large multi-national businesses. His work is focused on driving growth through export gain, leading to significant job creation. Prior to his current role, he has spent more than...

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