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Winter 2018 Graduation

Leading Businessman Receives Honorary Degree from Queen’s University Belfast

A leading figure in the agriculture and food sector, Owen Brennan, will today receive an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University Belfast.

Mr Brennan is Executive Chairman of the Devenish Group, an agri-technology company which supplies the farming, animal feed and food industry globally.  

Headquartered in Belfast, Devenish continues to grow, with 10 manufacturing locations across the UK, USA, Turkey and Africa, as well as offices in Mexico, the UAE, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic. The company currently exports to over 35 countries across 4 continents.  

Mr Brennan said: “I am very pleased to receive this honour from Queen’s University Belfast. I have worked closely with the University for over a decade. It has, and continues to be, an important collaboration which has achieved much in terms of both research and results.  In particular, the Institute of Global Food Security has made a significant and positive impact to the agri-food sector.  

Born to a small family merchant and farming business in Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow, Mr Brennan’s commitment to farming and the agri-food industry stems from a strong farming and business background. In 1997, he led the team which acquired Devenish Feeds, now Devenish Nutrition Ltd and has significantly grown its global presence.

Mr Brennan served as President of the Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association, was previously Chairman of the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) and served on the Agri-Food Strategy Board in Northern Ireland.  He has also worked closely with the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen’s University Belfast.

Mr Brennan, as President of the NI Grain Trade Association, was instrumental in devising and developing the Food Fortress project in conjunction with Queen's University Belfast - a feed testing scheme which is unique in the world and now covers almost 100 per cent of animal feed production in Northern Ireland. Food Fortress is a collaboration of more than 70 animal feed companies across the Island of Ireland, all committed to controlling and improving the safety and security of the food chain. 

He has also recently become an ‘Ambassador’ for IGFS at Queen’s, facilitating engagement at a national and international level.

Devenish is a long-time stakeholder of IGFS, sitting on the Institute’s Industrial Advisory Board and partnering on many research projects. One of Devenish’s biggest innovation successes has been the development of Omega 3-enriched chicken, which is now being sold in Waitrose supermarkets.


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