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Independent.ie

Thursday 22 February 2018

Sustainability driving marketing fellowship forward

Progressive: Professor Damien McLoughlin, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Emer Dunne, Bord Bia Fellow currently based in Stockholm and Aidan Cotter, Chief Executive, Bord Bia.
Progressive: Professor Damien McLoughlin, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Emer Dunne, Bord Bia Fellow currently based in Stockholm and Aidan Cotter, Chief Executive, Bord Bia.

One of the core planks in Bord Bia's current strategy was to invest in education and develop markets.

It was the key motivation behind the other new initiative of the last number of years, where 25 young go-getters are seconded on a part-time basis to four Irish companies working internationally on a 'marketing fellowship'.

"This was first conceived at a time when the food industry was struggling to attract the right calibre of recent graduate," says Aidan Cotter of the programme.

"This idea was that we would recruit people with a few years' experience in the food sector, and cover their wages for a year.

"The food companies would get some valuable assistance, an introduction to fresh talent and the graduates themselves would benefit from a massive learning experience.

Increased

"We're now on our fifth batch, with over 500 applicants for the 25 places," says Cotter.

"But we've now increased the scope of this idea by introducing 10 'ambassadors' in the last year.

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"These are funded by a combination of dairy, meat and drinks industry companies to go out and learn about sustainability from the best known global organisations. So we have placements with the likes of Walmart, Coca-Cola and the World Wildlife Fund," explains Cotter.

Of course, you get nothing for nothing in this world, and Cotter also sees these young ambassadors as key messengers, bringing the story of Ireland's Origin Green programme into the heart of the most powerful companies in the world.

"Put a price on that," he says.

* The Bord Bia Marketing Fellowship - run in conjunction with UCD's Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School - offers graduates from all disciplines the opportunity of obtaining an MSc International Marketing Practice while working on behalf of Irish food companies in one of 12 key overseas markets.

Participants receive a bursary of €22,800 in addition to having their tuition fees paid.

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