Agricultural economist Prof Thia Hennessy has been named as the new head of UCC’s Department of Food Business and Development which specialises in food business and marketing, international development and co-operative studies.
Prof Hennessy joins UCC from Teagasc, where she was head of Agricultural Economics research for the last 10 years. With Teagasc, she developed an international reputation in the area of agricultural policy analysis and farm sustainability research.
The Food Business and Development Department is part of the Cork University Business School UCC, which plans to develop a new business school in Cork’s financial district — on the site of the former Cork Savings Bank on Lapps Quay, which UCC bought for €1.42m last year.
Prof Ciaran Murphy, head of Cork University Business School, said: “We are in the midst of exciting developments, including the appointment of a number senior staff, the acquisition of the iconic Cork Savings Bank, as well as a plan to construct a new €106m business school building at a city centre location in Cork.
“We recognise the importance of the agri-food sector to the local and national economy of Ireland and it is a key focus of our future plans. We are delighted that Thia is joining the team and we look forward to building on her extensive experience and industry networks to better support the ongoing growth of the agri-food sector in Ireland,” he said.
Under the Teagasc-UCC alliance, Prof Hennessy will work part-time with Teagasc on agri-food economic issues. With Teagasc, she also headed the National Farm Survey, the official main source of statistics on farming in Ireland.
Prof Hennessy said: “I’m delighted to be joining UCC at an exciting time in the development of the Business School. It is also an exciting time for Irish agri-food with the ongoing expansion of the dairy sector, continued growth in our food and drink exports and looming challenges associated with Brexit and climate change.
“The need for food graduates and more agri-food business research has never been greater. I look forward to building on UCC’s strong reputation for excellence in teaching and research in food and to strengthening the collaborations that exist between UCC and Teagasc.”
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