The Irish Business and Employers Confederation (Ibec) has announced the name of the new senior director of Meat Industry Ireland (MII).

Joe Ryan will take over the leadership of MII. He succeeds Cormac Healy, who joins Drinks Ireland as its new director later this month.   

Speaking on his appointment, Ryan said: “I am extremely excited to lead MII in what is a period of huge opportunities for the industry, despite emerging economic challenges.”

Joe Ryan

“The meat sector in Ireland, from farm through to processing and export, is one of the most important indigenous industries in the national economy, supporting in excess of 120,000 individual farmers and generating total sales of more than €4.5 billion,” he continued.

“Rurally-located meat processing plants act as a key economic contributor by providing direct employment in many Irish towns with additional supplementary jobs generated in distribution, transport and services.” 

“Within the Irish meat sector, the potential exists to further scale up activity and capacity to grow export value delivering new revenues and jobs through value added processing in a sustainable manner.”  

Joe Ryan joined MII in 2014, having previously held roles in the agri-food sector with SouthWestern, North Cork Co-Operative and Permanent TSB’s Agri-Finance division.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science from University College Dublin (UCD), as well as a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from UCD Smurfit Business School.   

Joe currently represents MII on several national and European committees to progress market access and export opportunities for Irish meat. 

Outgoing MII director

Cormac Healy was appointed to the role of senior executive director of MII in late 2015 and has served in the position for over six years.

He previously had responsibilities within the Irish Dairy Industries Association (IDIA).

The outgoing MII boss will succeed Patricia Callan as the director of Drinks Ireland.

Healy’s tenure as senior director of MII has been an eventful one, to say the least.

In the late summer and early autumn of 2019, a series of farmer protests at processing plant gates rocked the beef industry.

Throughout those protests, and the industry talks that followed, Healy was the public face of the processor’s response, bearing much of the criticism from the farming organisations that was directed at the factories.

Healy continued to represent the industry at the various meetings of the now-decommissioned Beef Market Taskforce.