Our 49th episode features one of our most global of guests–Deirdre Ryan, a world class athlete who competed for Ireland on the global stage and who is now raising the bar for Irish food.
Born in County Dublin, Deirdre studied business and Italian, then worked, studied and trained in Milan. To train and work in Germany, she learned to speak German and she’d go on to work in Belgium, Switzerland, and the UK before returning to Ireland full time.
Along the way, she soared to new heights rolling backwards over the high jump bar, ever higher, culminating in a sixth-place finish in the 2011 world championships (later moved up to fifth when a Russian athlete was banned) and set the Irish record when qualifying for the 2012 Olympics in London, competing there despite training setbacks from injuries.
As she trained, she developed an interest in food, nutrition and sustainability, making her a natural fit for Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, where she is helping the Irish agriculture and food sector “clear the bar” to a greener future as the Director of Sustainability & Quality Assurance for Bord Bia’s Origin Green initiative.
Join us for a story of sustained excellence in business and athletics, and of sustainability in the Irish food sector in our “Global Irish Nation Conversation” with Deirdre Ryan.
Director of the Bord Bia Origin Green and Quality Assurance Programs
Deirdre Ryan is Director of the Origin Green and Quality Assurance programs. She has extensive experience in the food industry with a strong track record of driving impact through embedding sustainability into business strategy.
Prior to her appointment, Deirdre Ryan was Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland, where she led the development and implementation of the company’s sustainability strategy. From 2013 to 2015, as part of Bord Bia’s Origin Green Ambassador program, Deirdre was responsible for building trade awareness globally for the sustainability credentials of Irish food and drink producers.
Deirdre Ryan has also held positions with leading dairy exporters Ornua, Nestlé Switzerland, and Metro Group, the world’s fourth-largest retail group. An Irish Olympian who competed in the high jump at the London 2012 Olympics, Deirdre holds an MSc in Business Sustainability, an MBS in International Business from UCD Smurfit Graduate School, and a degree in International Commerce with Italian from University College Dublin.