Bord Bia has announced that Jim O’Toole of an Bord Iascaigh Mhara will rejoin Bord Bia to fill the vacancy of CEO left by Tara McCarthy.

O’Toole will take up the mantle at the beginning of November when interim CEO Michael Murphy is set to step down.

The new Bord Bia chief executive will finish up as CEO of an Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the seafood development agency, and had previously led up Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme as director of the agency’s meat and livestock division.

He is a member of the Irish National Accreditation Board, the body which impartially verifies and certifies claims made by businesses and organisations.

“I have been most fortunate to have previously spent over 20 years in Bord Bia and more recently have had the privilege of being the CEO of Bord Iascaigh Mhara for over five years,” O’Toole commented.

The ‘ideal leader’

Chair of Bord Bia Dan MacSweeney welcomed O’Toole’s appointment as CEO and made clear his gratitude to Michael Murphy for taking on the role on an interim basis.

“His considerable experience in the agri-food sector, depth of international experience and strong corporate, strategic and operational expertise makes him an ideal leader to deliver strategic transformation, building on the great work of his predecessors and the rest of the Bord Bia team,” the Bord Bia chair said.

“We look forward to working with Jim, and are confident his leadership will ensure Bord Bia continues to deliver on its strategic mission to promote sustainably-produced Irish produce to customers around the world.”

Close co-operation with the Department

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue congratulated the new CEO on his appointment. He stated that Bord Bia would be a key player in organising a trade mission to southeast Asia along with his Department.

“This is a very exciting time for our agri-food industry and Jim will lead a very talented team during one of the most defining periods for our sector," he said.

“I particularly thank Michael Murphy, who will continue to lead Bord Bia as interim CEO until November.

“Along with Minister of State Martin Heydon, I look forward to leading a major agri-food trade mission to key Asian markets (Japan, Singapore and Vietnam) with Bord Bia and my Department, starting at the end of August.”

Invaluable experience

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Martin Heydon commented that he would be co-ordinating overseas market development efforts along with the new CEO.

“I have no doubt that Jim’s experience will be invaluable to Bord Bia as we continue to position Irish food and drink produce in markets all across the world,” said Minister Heydon.

“I look forward to working closely with Jim and the team in Bord Bia to the benefit of our farmers and growers, the food and drink industry, and Ireland’s overall economy.”

Also welcoming the appointment was Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett, who stated that she would be working with the new appointee in developing markets for Irish organic produce.