Tim Brett, President, Western Europe, The Coca-Cola Company

Tim Brett is the President of The Coca-Cola Company’s Western Europe business unit. He was previously responsible for the company’s operations throughout Japan. Brett joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1997 in the marketing function in Romania. In 1999, he joined one of Coca-Cola’s largest bottlers — Coca-Cola Hellenic – in the Czech Republic with responsibility for commercial strategy. Tim was appointed General Manager of The Coca-Cola Company in the Czech Republic in 2001. He moved to Warsaw, Poland in 2003 to lead the company’s business in Poland and the Baltic States. In 2006, he moved to Vienna and was named President of the Alpine business unit which included Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia. This business unit was later expanded to include Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, FYROM and Montenegro. Brett moved to Coca-Cola Japan in March 2011 as Executive Vice President with responsibility for franchise operations and commercial leadership. Before joining The Coca-Cola Company, Brett held marketing positions in the UK for United Distillers, The Guinness Group and Walkers Snack Foods, Frito-Lay. Brett holds an M.A. degree in History from The University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom.

Neven Maguire, Celebrity Chef

One of Ireland’s best known chefs, Neven Maguire runs MacNean House, a restaurant and cookery school in the village of Blacklion, Co Cavan. A prolific cookbook author, Neven has also presented numerous television shows on RTE.

Catriona Flaherty, Founder, What’s For Pudding, and Simply Better supplier and winner of the Golden Fork for Ireland

“What’s for pudding” was the first question Catriona Flaherty asked her mother when she arrived home from school, so it was the perfect name for her artisan food business. Based in Kilmessan in Co Meath, What’s For Pudding is a supplier to Dunnes Stores Simply Better, and has won awards including the Golden Fork for Ireland at the Great Taste Awards 2016.

Dirk Jacobs, Deputy Director General and Director Consumer Information, Diet and Health, FoodDrinkEurope

Besides supporting the general management and external representation of the organisation, Mr Jacobs co-ordinates and manages the European food and drink industry’s positions and actions in areas related to consumer information (including food labelling) and diet, nutrition and health. Mr Jacobs represents FoodDrinkEurope at global level at the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius and at various EU fora, including the Commission Advisory Group on the Food Chain, Animal and Plant Health, the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health and the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain. Mr Jacobs is a Dutch national and has a BSc and MSc in International Business Administration at Maastricht University, studied international economics in Milan, Italy, and has a post-graduate MBA in European (Business) Studies.

Melissa San Miguel Head of Policy, VP Red Flag USA

Melissa advises Red Flag and its clients on policy issues and strategic responses. She was previously Senior Director for Global Strategies at the Grocery Manufacturers Association in Washington, DC, where she developed and implemented trade and global competitiveness strategies for the world’s leading food, beverage, and consumer product companies. Prior to joining GMA, Melissa served in the U.S. diplomatic service handling trade policy in Latin America and Asia, most recently as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment.

Michael Creed, T.D, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine

Michael Creed TD is the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Michael was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1989. He has held several positions on the Fine Gael front-bench including; Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, 2007 – 2010, Health 1989 – 1993, Youth & Sport in 1993-1994 and Education; Arts, Culture & the Gaeltacht in 1994. He was first co-opted to Cork County Council in 1987. He was the Chairperson of Cork County Council for the period 2005/06. Michael, a Macroom native is married to Sinead and has three children. Michael is currently a member of the Oireachtas Finance Committee. Michael’s priorities for the remainder of the Government term include the pursual of development on the N22 Macroom-Baile Mhuirne Bypass scheme and working with Cabinet to ensure the economic recovery reaches rural Ireland and constituencies such as Cork North West.

Oonagh Monahan, Technical Spokesperson, Irish Bread Bakeries

Oonagh Monahan has 20 years experience working in and with the food industry and is the author of “Money for Jam – the Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Small Food Business”, the 2nd edition of which was published by Oaktree Press in September 2017. Oonagh has a BSc from NUI Galway, a Graduate Diploma in Food Science and Technology from DIT and was awarded a Master of Engineering Science degree (by research thesis) from the Dept. of Agricultural and Food Engineering at UCD for which she won a scholarship sponsored by H.J. Heinz. In addition, Oonagh has a Post Graduate Diploma in Business and Management from Queens University Belfast. Her work experience includes roles as a Food Technologist and Quality Control Manager with Manor Bakeries Ltd in England (Mr. Kipling and Cadbury’s cakes) and Quality Assurance Manager with Kerry Foods (Grove Turkeys) in Co. Monaghan. She subsequently moved to a position as General Manager of the Food Technology Centre in St Angela’s College. Oonagh continues to work occasionally as lecturer at St. Angela’s in Food NPD and EU and Irish Food Legislation as well as working on practical product development with Home Economics students. In 2008, she set up Alpha Omega Consultants, www.alphaomega.ie where she uses her extensive experience to devise, deliver, facilitate and manage support programmes for food producers, food businesses, cafés and restaurants. She is a food business development mentor with Enterprise Ireland, InterTrade Ireland, Rural Development companies and many Local Enterprise Offices for new food start-up companies and has mentored almost 350 clients to date! She is a frequent interviewee on radio for food related issues. Oonagh is the technical spokesperson for the Irish Bread Bakers’ Association. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (UK) and of the Institute of Food Science and Technology of Ireland, as well as a Certified Management Consultant and member of WITS – Women in Technology & Science.

Professor Gerry Boyle, Director, Teagasc

Gerry has been Director of Teagasc – Ireland’s Agriculture and Food Development Authority – with responsibility for agriculture and food research, extension and farmer education for 10 years. Teagasc’s annual budget is €180m and it has a staff of 1200 plus 240 students undertaking doctoral research. Prior to becoming CEO of Teagasc, Professor Boyle was Head of the Economics Department at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and during the mid 1990s he was Economic Adviser to the Irish Prime Minister. He has also served as a senior consultant with the World Bank in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Professor Boyle is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and a recipient of the Chevalier Des Palmes Academiques from the Government of France.

Stephanie Moe, Marketing Strategy Manager, Bord Bia

Stephanie Moe has worked in Bord Bia’s Food & Beverage division for over 10 years. She previously spent over 10 years overseas working and studying in France, Italy and the Netherlands. Since her return to Dublin she has held various sector responsibilities including grocery, seafood and beverages. She has worked on branding and packaging tools for small businesses and route to market supports such as farmers’ markets. Stephanie also managed the growing artisan market at Bord Bia’s Bloom show from 2009 to 2012. Her most recent role has included the development of the Food Starter programme for new food businesses and the coordination of services and supports for the Organic sector.

Eamon Ryan, T.D., Green Party Leader

Eamon Ryan was elected to represent Dublin Bay South in the 2016 General Election. He was born in Dublin and raised in Dundrum and Dartry. He studied commerce in UCD before taking a job managing a marketing course in the university’s School of Business. He went on to found a cycling tourism company, Irish Cycling Safaris, in the late 1980’s and in 1996 won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. The business still trades successfully as Cycling Safaris. He was the founding chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign and began his political career as a Dublin City Councillor for the Rathgar – Rathmines ward. He then went on to serve both as a TD for Dublin South and as a Government Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. In recent years, Eamon has worked for a European climate organisation (www.e3g.org) and chaired the digital policy group in the Institute of International and European Affairs (www.iiea.com). He is currently leader of the Green Party/Comhaontas Glas (www.greenparty.ie) and is married to writer Victoria White. They have four children.

John Curran, Head of Sustainability at Musgrave

John Curran is Head of Sustainability at Musgrave, Ireland’s largest retailer and foodservice business. He holds an MSc in Environmental Science, Technology & Engineering and is a member of Engineers Ireland.

John leads the development and implementation of sustainability strategy across the group’s extensive retail and wholesale operations in Ireland and Spain. This includes the development of strategic sustainability policy and the implementation of plans and targets to deliver excellence by embedding sustainability best practice into all business management processes. John also oversees the measurement of progress and the reporting of performance.

John supports Musgrave Board and provides guidance across a broad range of sustainability, commercial risk management and technical matters. John is a non-executive director Repak Limited.

Kevin McPartlan, Director of Prepared Consumer Foods, Food Drink Ireland (FDI)

The Prepared Consumer Foods Council is the leading representative body for companies producing value-added food and beverages selling in Ireland or internationally to grocery, convenience retail, food service and other food companies. Kevin and his colleagues deliver advocacy, information, advice to and on behalf of members. Educated at University College Cork and the Honorable Society of Kings Inns, Kevin has worked as a communications and public affairs specialist for individuals, organisations, companies in Ireland and the UK as well as several foreign governments.

Pat Rigney, Founder, Gunpowder Gin

Patrick J. Rigney is a serial entrepreneur with a strong track record in the food & drinks sector and more recently in pharmaceuticals, tourism and equestrian. He is the Founder of The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney & the creator of super-premium Irish drinks brands including the now iconic Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin and more recently Sausage Tree Pure Irish Vodka (launched March 2018).

He is the Chair of the Irish Gin Working Group, which is working to establish a quality standard for Irish Gin , which will enforce standards for quality and authenticity on a national and international level . He has been at the forefront of the branded drinks sector for over thirty years, working with Gilbey’s, C&C and holding pioneering roles in Baileys covering the important Americas and Australasia territories during its formative years in the ‘90’s. As Executive Director of Baileys, Pat created the Sheridan’s liqueur brand that sells more than 300,000 cases annually. Pat went on to invent over 20 other international drinks brands including the famous Boru Vodka/Castle Brands which developed a range of successful spirits brands before successfully exiting in 2005 through an IPO on the AMEX (NY, USA) with a valuation of + $100m.

He owns Fastnet Brands, co-founded the Dalcassian Wine & Spirits company with John Dillon (ex Diageo/Gilbeys), and is an investor in Ovelle Pharmaceuticals, Horseware Products Ltd and the Walsh Distillery Company.

Pat sits on the advisory boards of the “Prince of Baden”, the largest landowner in Germany and Hardenberg Wilthen AG., supporting their international business interests in the USA, and Europe.In December 2014, Pat opened The Shed Distillery in Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim, Connacht’s first distillery in 101 years.

Paula Mee , Consultant Dietitian and Nutritionist

Paula is a well renowned food and nutrition consultant, with nearly 25 years’ experience. Paula provides an extensive range of services in nutrition, corporate wellness, marketing communications, recipe and menu analysis and product development.

She has a comprehensive portfolio of clients from the food and pharmaceutical industry, educational establishments, catering & retail sector, the corporate industry & other groups of health professionals. As part of her working week she runs a dietetic clinic in the Rockcourt Medical Centre in Blackrock.

She is a current member and a past president of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI), the professional body for dietitians in Ireland. Paula has been awarded Diplomas in Allergy, Sports and PR.

She has additional training in behavioural change, health & wellness coaching and in her special interest area, gastroenterology.Following the success of the best seller Your Middle Years, Love them, Live them, Own them, Paula’s has co-authored a new book Gut Feeling, on the management of gut problems, irritable bowel syndrome and the low fodmap diet, launched March 2017. www.paulamee.com.

Sinéad McPhillips, Assistant Secretary General, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine

Sinéad McPhillips is Assistant Secretary General in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), with responsibility for agri-food sectoral policy and strategy development – including leading implementation of the Food Wise strategy; policy development for the meat, dairy, prepared consumer foods and drinks sectors; the Department’s research agenda and economic and policy analysis functions. Sinéad previously served as the Department’s Chief Economist. Her qualifications include a first class honours Master’s degree in Economic Science from University College Dublin.

Hilary Ross, Group Sector Head for Food Retail & Hospitality, DWF LLP

Hilary advises in all aspects of Global Regulatory Compliance and Investigations with particular expertise in relation to food law. Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession consistently ranks Hilary as a star performer in the field of food law and praises her as being “undoubtedly a dominant force in the marketplace”. Chambers also ranks Hilary as a leader in the field of advertising and marketing stating she is “applauded for her direct way of attacking problems and giving advice”.

Over the last five years, Hilary has guided clients through the uncertainty caused by the impact of legislation governing health and nutrition claims and helped develop workable strategies and policies; highlighting unforeseen problems to regulators to achieve workable international solutions. In 2014, following her work in relation to the horse meat crisis, The Lawyer identified Hilary as one of the UK’s Hot 100 Lawyers.

Tommy Doherty, Partner, Mazars

Tommy Doherty is head of the Food & Beverage practice in Mazars, servicing some of Ireland’s leading Food and Beverage companies. He is also Head of the Audit & Assurance practice in Mazars with over 20 years of experience. During Tommy’s career, he has served as the auditor and advisor to many private businesses and multinational companies. He has performed a large number of business appraisals within the food and beverage sector and has helped many of his clients to grow in rapidly changing environments.


Professor Donal O’Shea, HSE Lead for Obesity

Donal O’Shea qualified in Medicine from University College Dublin in 1989. He moved to Hammersmith Hospital in London and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship to study how the brain controls appetite. In 1999, he moved to his current position in Dublin where he runs a hospital based multi-disciplinary treatment unit for the management of adult obesity. He is a member of the Department of Health special action group on obesity established in 2011 chaired the Health Impact Assessment Group on the potential benefits and harms of a tax on sugar sweetened drinks. He is also a member of the Healthy Ireland Council. Research interests include immune effects of obesity, diabetes, steroid metabolism, gender identity disorder and thyroid disorders.