The management development programme, which is open to employees of both Dawn Meats and Dunbia, a division of Dawn Meats, was launched in 2000. The company first partnered with UCD in 2015. Since its inception over 500 people have graduated from the course, with 29 staff members graduating in 2023 and 129 employees graduating since UCD’s involvement.

Maximising potential

Niall Browne, chief executive of Dawn Meats, has highlighted the importance of this programme for recognising talent in the company.

“The Dawn Meats, Dunbia and UCD Management Development Programme is a super opportunity for those working in our business. This programme helps us recognise and develop the leaders and managers of the future and help them learn the skills they will need to maximise their own potential and that of the group. It is vital for the group that we have leaders with the ability and know-how to manage the business into the future and to ensure that the company continues to succeed,” said Niall.

Addressing global challenges

The programme runs for nine months and is designed to help managers address the global challenges facing the agri-food industry such as economic and environmental sustainability as well as developing skills in leadership, communications and professional networking.

The course features practical and interactive modules on professional development and agri-business. This includes one-to-one coaching for each student, external and internal guest speakers and a key business project that groups complete. A panel of seven judges across Dawn Meats, Dunbia and UCD examine the final projects.

The winning team this year comprised of Daniel O’Dwyer (team lead), Katie McGrane, Kirstie Wilkinson, Jake Shambrook and Cathal Farrell.

The winners were presented with the Dan Browne Excellence Award in recognition of their achievement, named after Dawn Meats founder and former CEO Dan Browne.

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