The National Dairy Council Annual Conference 2011

"Promoting Sustainable Dairy Growth" is the theme of The National Dairy Council Annual Conference taking place on the afternoon of Tuesday 14th June, 2011 at The Conrad Hotel, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Simon Coveney TD will deliver the opening address, followed by a keynote address by Danny McCoy, Director General, IBEC, who will explore ‘Unlocking Growth Opportunites’.

The second half of the afternoon will involve brief presentations with by three expert panelists, who will then engage in a live discussion with a consumer focus led by broadcaster Damien O’Reilly. The panelists include:

Padraig Brennan, Senior Business Analyst, Bord Bia - "Consumer Attitudes Influencing Sustainability"

Dr. Mary Flynn, Chief Specialist in Public Health Nutrition,Food Safety Authority of Ireland - "Consumer Health & Lifestyle Trends"

Aileen O'Toole, Managing Director, AMAS - "Consumer Communication in a Rapidly Evolving Media Environment"

There is no conference registration or delegate fee to those involved with the dairy and agri foods sector who are interested in attending. However pre-registration is required as places are limited and will be allocated beforehand on a ‘first come’ basis.

If you are interested in attending the conference – telephone The National Dairy Council at 01-290 2451 or e mail with ‘Conference Pre-Registration’ in the subject line.

Meet The Speakers – NDC Annual Conference 2011

Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food & The Marine - Opening Address

Simon Coveney T.D. was appointed Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine in March 2011. He was first elected to the Dail in 1998 as one of Fine Gael’s youngest T.D.s. Since then, he has held Shadow Ministries in Drugs & Youth Affairs, Communications, Marine & Natural Resources, Transport & The Marine.

Mr. Coveney was a member of Cork County Council and the Southern Health Board from 1999-2003.

Mr Coveney was elected to the European Parliament in 2004 and was a member of the EPP-ED group. He was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Internal Market & Consumer Protection Committee. He was also a substitute member on the Fisheries Committee. Mr Coveney was the author of the European Parliament’s Annual Report on Human Rights in the World for the year 2004 and again for 2006. Mr. Coveney chaired the Fine Gael Policy Development Committee prior to the 2011 General Election.

Mr Coveney holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture & Land Management from The Royal Agriculture College, Gloucestershire. He was also educated at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare, University College Cork and Gurteen Agricultural College, Co. Tipperary.

Mr. Coveney continues to be involved in the running of a family farm in Co. Cork.

Danny McCoy, Director General, IBEC - "Unlocking the Growth Opportunities"

Danny McCoy is Director General of the Irish Business & Employers Confederation (IBEC). Prior to joining IBEC he was a Senior Research Officer at the Economic & Social Research Institute (ESRI) and an economist in the Central Bank of Ireland.

Mr. McCoy has held lecturing posts at Dublin City University, University College London, University of Oxford and Trinity College Dublin. He was a research associate at the Centre for Social & Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE) in London. Mr. McCoy is a regular contributor in the print and broadcast media and has written columns for the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and the Irish Times, among other international newspapers.

Padraig Brennan, Senior Business Analyst, Bord Bía - "Consumer Attitudes Influencing Sustainability"

Padraig Brennan has been Senior Business Analyst for Bord Bía since 2003. He is involved primarily in trade and market research projects and strategic analysis of developments that impact on the Irish food and drink sector.

Over recent years, Mr. Brennan has led a number of Bord Bía research programmes examining Sustainability and its implications for the Irish food and drink industry and has worked on the development of the environmental sustainability programme that is being rolled out to all members of Bord Bía’s Beef Quality Assurance Scheme.

Mr. Brennan holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from UCD and a Masters in Marketing from the University of Western Australia.

Dr. Mary Flynn, Chief Specialist in Public Health Nutrition, Food Safety Authority of Ireland - "Consumer Health & Lifestyle Trends"

Dr. Mary Flynn, Chief Specialist in Public Health Nutrition with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, is a dietitian and a registered public health nutritionist. She has extensive experience in the management of nutrition programmes in public health, clinical and research settings in Ireland, Canada and the Middle East.

As Chief Specialist, Dr. Flynn manages and develops the public health nutrition group and works closely with stakeholders in allied official agencies and the food industry, to ensure optimal consumer protection.

Dr. Flynn has many publications in the areas of obesity, cardiovascular disease, assessment of dairy intakes, the development of food-based dietary guidelines and women’s health issues.

Dr. Flynn is leading the work concerned with the new regulations on nutrition and health claims.

Aileen O'Toole, Managing Director, AMAS - "Consumer Communication in a Rapidly Evolving Media Environment"

Aileen O’Toole is Managing Director of internet consultancy AMAS, which provides a range of strategic services to business and government clients and publishes the popular State of the Net bulletin on digital trends. For ten years, she has worked with senior management teams to devise strategies to use the internet to achieve commercial or organisational goals.

The founder of two businesses, Aileen is a co-founder of The Sunday Business Post newspaper and was a leading member of the team responsible for building one of Ireland’s most successful media brands. She was a shareholder in the newspaper from its inception in 1989 until 1997, when it was sold to Trinity Mirror plc. An award-winning journalist, she was the first woman in Ireland to edit a business publication.

She is also a board member of a number of non-governmental organisations. She is a director of Business in the Community, which promotes corporate social responsibility.

In 2009, Aileen established and led the Ideas Campaign - a citizens’ initiative to harness ideas for economic recovery. The campaign met with a huge reaction, both in Ireland and internationally, and used digital marketing, particularly social media, to deliver on campaign objectives.

Damien O'Reilly, Chairperson, Consumer Panel Discussion

Damien O'Reilly from Castleknock in Dublin has been a broadcaster with RTE Radio since 1998.

He has worked across many areas including, sport, business and current affairs. His main duties have been concentrated on agriculture and rural affairs. He presents CountryWide on Radio 1 each Saturday morning and before that he presented and produced Farmweek. He is also a member of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists of Ireland.

Damien has won numerous broadcasting awards and he was part of the RTE team in China which covered the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Damien writes a weekly opinion piece in the Irish Farmers Journal. He is married to former Olympic athlete Catherina McKiernan and they have two children.

For further information about the NDC, return to our Home Page

Media Enquiries to:

Antonina Ni Dhuinn, Progress Communications - 01-276 6117 - nina[at] -


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