To start, I would like to extend a thank you to Tom and the rest of the Bord Bia team for taking the time to meet with us. Having never heard of them before, I left with an immense appreciation for the work that they do: not only to promote “Ireland Inc”, but in general.
That being said… I expected more food from the food board… kidding, obviously!
To expand on the “Ireland Inc” aspect of this post, there are a few things that I’ve noticed. First, I think that it is fair to assume that, generally, the places we have visited employed high profile IRISH talent. We haven’t gone into these companies and talked to Americans, Spaniards, or Italians. They’ve been people from Dublin and the surrounding areas. I think that building and maintaining Irish talent is a huge component to “Ireland Inc”.
Outside of this, I think another big contributor to the “Ireland Inc” is the export side of Irish industry. In Bord Bia, we learned just how important the United States is to the Irish whiskey industry: we are the largest importer of whiskey in the world. From what I’ve gathered, the Irish tend to take pride in the prevalence of their brands in the global spectrum. I would assume that all Irish businesses promote Irish business interests globally.
Last, but, of course, not least: I think that an important driving force behind Irish businesses is that that stand for more than just profitability. This was perhaps most obviously demonstrated in Pearse Lyons distillery, who operated their business as a non-profit, essentially. To see a company that sells a tangible consumer product not really care about profit margins is something you wouldn’t see in the United States. That passion seems to be indicative to Irish business, and a key proponent to “Irish Inc”.
One last thing I want to touch on quickly is that that value relationships more than anything, too.