Local experts focus on global supply chains

Jonathan Birnie
Jonathan Birnie

Farming and food businesses in the United Kingdom and Ireland are being helped to improve their supply chains by a recently launched consultancy in Northern Ireland.

Leading the new consultancy, which is already working with food and farming operations in the United Kingdom, is Jonathan Birnie.

Formerly head of agriculture and research at Dunbia, the leading UK red meat processor headquartered in Northern Ireland, Mr Birnie is also a former policy adviser to the National Farmers’ Union and head of agriculture at Sainsbury. In addition, he is a past Nuffield scholar.

Based in Dungannon, county Tyrone, the recently launched consultancy has been set up by Mr Birnie to “work with different partners to develop food chains across the world”.

“We bring vast practical experience within all areas of the food chain. It’s an area that’s growing increasingly important especially with so much attention on efficiency and competitiveness in farming and food across the world.

“The importance of measures to enhance competitiveness are growing especially in the UK as it moves towards Brexit.

“In addition, there’s now a global focus on far reaching initiatives to increase safety throughout supply chains in response to concerns about the worrying problem of food fraud, an area in which Northern Ireland is developing world class expertise through the leadership of the pioneering Institute of Global Food Security at Queen’s University in Belfast.

Earlier this year, Mr Birnie left the position he had held in Dunbia for 12 years to pursue an ambition to develop a business specialising in food chains and other areas such as project and research management as well as scientific and technical appraisal.

Mr Birnie continues: “I’ve pulled together a team of professionals with extensive experience of managing and delivering multi-disciplinary research projects across the food production industry at all levels.

“These projects have been delivered at research centres, on-farm, in-factory and at retail level. We have also been involved both in biological and technological development,” he adds.

The company also has expertise across all livestock areas including beef, dairy, sheep and pigs and has also been active in funding applications, knowledge transfer, change management and new product development. Expertise also includes bridging science and industry and has widespread retail experience.