Ambassadors from Ireland’s Bord Bia will promote its national sustainability programme Origin Green in the UK after securing placements at five leading food businesses.
The ambassadors have begun placements with Tesco, Bidvest, McDonald’s, Mars and the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform in a bid to promote the Irish food and drink industry’s sustainability credentials.
To prepare them for their placements, the ambassadors have undergone an intensive induction involving study at the UCD Michael Smurfit Business School and industry briefings. On top of their ambassadorial role, they will be actively involved with the development and implementation of the host company’s sustainability strategy.
Owen Keogh, who has been assigned to McDonald’s, has a degree in food and agribusiness management and two years’ experience in the agricultural advisory and extension service. David Hagan (Mars UK) has an MSc in environmental science and has seven years’ experience working as an agricultural/environmental advisor.
Kate O’Driscoll, who will be working with Tesco, has a degree in product design and technology and has worked for Medtronic as a research and development engineer. Grainne Carroll (Bidvest) has a background in freelancing and event project management, while Martina Henry, assigned to SAI Platform, has a degree in commerce as well as eight years’ experience of running her own chocolate boutique and coffee lounge business.
A further five ambassadors - taken from more than 200 applicants - will be deployed over the coming months, in Switzerland, China, the USA and Belgium, said Bord Bia’s international markets director Padraig Brennan.
“The people we have selected are professionals with high potential who have aspirations to become future leaders in the Irish food industry,” he said.
“This is only the second year of the programme and already the previous participants have been successful in delivering global recognition for the industry’s work following placements around the world, including Starbucks and the World Bank.”