Former secretary general at the Department of Agriculture, Aidan O’Driscoll, will be appointed to the board of Ornua as a non-executive director next June. He will join the board after the annual general meeting. Ornua is a dairy co-operative responsible for the Kerrygold brand and exporting dairy products internationally.

In April, Ornua appointed two other new non-executive directors, Anne McParland and Anne O’Leary.

Following the restructuring of the Ornua board, there are now eight representatives from member suppliers, four independent non executives, an appointee from each of the farm organisations IFA, ICMSA, ICOS and two Ornua execs. This structure was decided upon following the removal of the CEOs and chairs of the member organisations.

Commenting on the appointment, chairman of Ornua, Denis Cregan, said: “On behalf of Ornua, I would like to warmly welcome Aidan to the board. Aidan brings over 40 years of extensive and wide-ranging national and international agri-food trade, economics, policy and leadership experience to Ornua, and joins at an exciting time as the business continues to deliver on its ambitious growth strategy across our 110 global markets. The board and the executive team look forward to benefiting from Aidan’s wealth of experience when he joins the board in June 2022.”

O’Driscoll joins other former secretary generals that have taken up positions of late in the dairy industry. Michael Dowling was appointed to Kerry Group, as was Tom Moran. Philip Carroll went the other direction to Meat Industry Ireland.

O’Driscoll has extensive experience of the agri-food sector and of national, EU and international affairs, having served in a variety of posts in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Within the Department, he served as chief economist from 1995 to 2001 and assistant secretary for finance, EU affairs, economics and climate change from 2001 to 2015. He was appointed secretary general in 2015 and subsequently moved to the Department of Justice and Equality, to take up the role of secretary general in that Department. He is currently chairing the Commission on the Defence Forces.

Aidan has also worked with Irish Aid, was chair of the Committee on World Food Security, served in the Irish Embassy in Rome and with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.