There are few more important names to conjour within Irish meat than Larry Goodman, so when Ireland’s largest pork processing company, Rosderra Irish Meats Group appointed Francis Minogue, a 15-year veteran of Goodman’s ABP Group as its new CEO in recent months, it certainly got tongues wagging.

Industry insiders have speculated that ABP might be tempted to dip their toe into the pig industry.

The Irish Farmers Journal reached out to Minogue, but has yet to get a response, while questions directed to ABP were met with a firm denial, a spokesman saying “there is nothing in that rumour”.

So, it seems it is business as usual at Rosderra. But, even if so, there will certainly be plenty to keep an eye on during this turbulent time in the pigmeat industry.

Rosderra has always been at the forefront of Irish pigmeat exports to China, and with both demand for imports and domestic prices crashing, it is the processor also at the forefront of the changes that will be needed to remain profitable.

The Rosderra business plan has always involved producing some pigs themselves, with the company saying they run an “integrated business” with a number of their own pig farms situated close to their processing plants.

Rosderra said these pig farms form the “cornerstone of our supply base”.

The downturn in the Irish pig industry may give Rosderra a chance to expand this model further through acquisition of troubled farms. Or, the company may just choose to retrench and try to wait out the downturn in China.

Either way, Minogue’s 15 years’ experience as an audit accountant may well prove a more valid reason for his appointment than any connection to beef barons.