Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has announced the appointment of Aidan Cotter as Chair of Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM). BIM is the State agency that helps to develop the Irish seafood industry by providing technical expertise, business support, funding, training and promoting responsible environmental practice.

Cotter has been appointed following a Public Service Appointment Service (PAS) process from 17 May 2022 for the period of 3 years.

Minister McConalogue said, “I am very pleased that Aidan Cotter has undertaken the important role as Chair of BIM. BIM provides an essential service in supporting and developing the seafood sector and Aidan will lead the work of BIM during this particularly challenging period dealing with the impacts of the EU/UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement and high fuel prices. I am fully satisfied that Aidan experience in both his executive role in leading Board Bia and his wide experience in supporting and growing the food sector in Ireland ensures that he has the skills and experience for this important role. He will bring dedication and leadership to this role to realise the full potential of the seafood sector.”

Aidan was appointed by the Minister as chairperson of the Seafood Task Force in March 2021 and completed a comprehensive report in October 2021 – Navigating Change, the Report of the Seafood Task Force. The Task Force examined the implications of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement for the Irish fishing industry and to make recommendations. Implementation of many of the approved schemes and initiatives recommended by the Task Force is now being undertaken by BIM, working closely with the department.

Aidan Cotter previously served as CEO of Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board – from 2004 until 2017, having earlier served the organisation in Dusseldorf and London. As CEO, he initiated significant strategic change across the organisation, covering a period which saw the sustained expansion of Ireland’s overall food and drink exports, the extension of its office network eastwards into the Middle East and Asia, and the establishment of its state of the art, globally connected Consumer Insight Centre.

In 2012, he initiated and led the launch of Origin Green, the world’s first national sustainability programme for food and drink, firmly establishing Ireland’s environmental credentials and its international reputation as a world leader in sustainability.

He served as Chairman of Slaney Foods, a joint venture between ABP Foods Group and the Fane Valley Group from 2017 to 2021 and currently Chairs the Plastics Action Alliance. He is a practicing barrister.

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