Aidan Cotter appointed to chair ABP joint venture

Aidan Cotter, the former CEO of Bord Bia, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Board of the joint venture between ABP Food Group and Fane Valley Group.

The joint venture is a 50:50 partnership between ABP Food Group and Fane Valley Group.

It includes the Slaney Foods international beef business and the sheep meat specialist, Irish Country Meats (ICM).

The decision by ABP to appoint Cotter as Chairman of the Board will be seen as a very shrewd move within the industry. This is all the more pertinent, in light of the uncertainty surrounding the UK maintaining its position as the main export market for Irish beef post-Brexit.

While CEO of Bord Bia, Cotter led many trade missions to various export markets around the world. Some of the most recent missions were to markets outside of the EU, where it is thought future growth in meat exports can be achieved.

He also has extensive contacts internationally, within all the European markets that Bord Bia operates in.

Who is Aidan Cotter?

Cotter retired from his position as the Chief Executive of Bord Bia in January of this year, a position which he had held since 2004.

He previously served in Bord Bia as Director of Operations, and earlier gained extensive experience in the marketplace as the organisation’s European Director, based in its London office, and prior to that in Dusseldorf.

During his tenure as the Chief Executive of the Irish food board he led the creation and roll-out of the Origin Green programme.

Launched some four and a half years ago, Origin Green is a national sustainability plan for the entire food and drink sector and a key part of the industry’s and the Government’s FoodWise 2025 plan.


Cotter also oversaw the extension of Bord Bia’s network eastwards, opening new offices in Warsaw, Dubai, Shanghai and Singapore.

Undoubtedly, these will be key markets for the Irish beef sector post-Brexit.

The former Bord Bia CEO will also be remembered by Irish farmers for the introduction of the Quality Assurance schemes.

He holds a Master of Business Administration from Cranfield School of Management in the UK, as well as a Master’s Degree in Economic Science and Agricultural Economics from University College Dublin (UCD).

In September 2013, he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from UCD.

ABP/Slaney Deal

In October of last year, the European Commission’s competition authority cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control of Slaney Foods by meat processor ABP Group and farmer-owned agri-food company Fane Valley.

Discussions surrounding the proposed takeover took place for a number of months before the deal was given the green light by the Commission.

The Commission found that the proposed acquisition would not adversely impact effective competition in the EU’s Single Market.

The Commission’s investigation focused in particular on the impact of the proposed transaction on competition in the markets, where the activities of the parties overlap.

This decision led to the ABP Group acquiring control of 50% of Slaney Foods beef operations, along with a 50% share of Irish Country Meats’ sheepmeat processing capacity.

At the time of the confirmation of the deal, both ABP and Slaney accounted for 28.5% of all cattle slaughterings in Ireland.