InterTradeIreland appoints Devenish CEO Richard Kennedy as new chair

24 Jan 2022

Richard Kennedy. Image: InterTradeIreland

Richard Kennedy is known for leading Belfast-based agritech giant Devenish.

Economic development body InterTradeIreland has announced the appointment of Richard Kennedy as its new chair.

Kennedy is CEO of Belfast-based Devenish Nutrition. Under his leadership, the agritech giant has transformed from a company focused on the Northern Ireland market to an international research, development and innovation business trading in more than 40 countries.

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Devenish has experienced huge growth over the past two decades, going from £5m in turnover and 23 employees in 1997, to more than £250m in turnover and 500 employees in 2018. Kennedy was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019.

The Sligo native grew up on a family-owned livestock mart in Aclare and went on to secure a degree in agricultural science from University College Dublin.

“Richard is an expert in growing a business in new markets and has an outstanding record of achievement,” InterTradeIreland CEO Margaret Hearty said. “We have no doubt that he will make a very significant contribution to InterTradeIreland. We look forward to his innovative vision and considered input.”

Commenting on his appointment, Kennedy said he is delighted to chair a “vital organisation that helps power economic prosperity” across the island of Ireland.

“This is a pivotal time to be joining the board, as InterTradeIreland builds on the next chapter of its evolution and growth,” he added. “It’s an exciting prospect to work with the rest of the board, CEO Margaret Hearty, the senior leadership team and all of the InterTradeIreland team.”

InterTradeIreland is responsible for helping develop SMEs across the island of Ireland with cross-border funding, intelligence and contacts. To date, more than 48,000 small businesses have received supports to identify and develop trade and innovation opportunities.

The organisation said it has created more than 18,000 new jobs and generated more than €1.3bn in business development value, with cross-border trade currently sitting at €8.4bn – its highest level in 20 years.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic