A SCHOLARSHIP is to be launched by Queen’s University and Finnebrogue in memory of the Co Down food group’s late founder Denis Lynn.
The 63-year-old meat entrepreneur died in a quad bike accident in May 2021.
The Denis Lynn Scholarship for Sustainable Food Innovation was last night described by Finnebrogue Artisan as the most lucrative food education scholarship in the UK.
It amounts to £20,000 of tuition and living support, as well as internships at Finnebrogue, the non-profit organisation Foundation Earth, and ‘a renowned international food producer’.
Mr Lynn’s wife Christine, now the food group’s ultimate controlling party, described her late husband as “a visionary who worked tirelessly in his personal life and work life”.
She said it was her hope that the scholarship, which guarantees a job within Finnebrogue’s Innovation Hub upon successful completion of the year-long masters programme, will support others with the same ambition.
“Denis wanted to build a more sustainable food industry and what better way to honour his memory than through continued research and development in this field,” she said.
It comes as Finnebrogue, otherwise known as Lynn’s Country Foods, reported sales of £120 million for the year ending February 27 2021.
The accounts, filed with Companies House in recent days, showed the food group finished the reporting period with a pre-tax profit of £6.1m.
The Co Down meat producer recruited another 100 jobs during the 12-month period.
Last year the meat group announced plans to invest £25m in a new 200,000 sq ft plant at its Downpatrick facility, which it described as the most advanced food facility in Europe,
Commenting on the new scholarship, Professor Chris Elliot, founder of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's University Belfast, said "Denis was one of the most innovative food producers that I have ever known. He didn't just care about food - he cared deeply about the environment and was always trying to change how food is farmed and processed to improve planetary, as well as human, health.
"I believe The Foundation Earth labelling scheme will allow consumers to make much more informed choices about the carbon footprint of food we are buying - this is something consumers very much want to know.
"We still have a long way to go, but through initiatives like this scholarship, we move closer to a food system that works in harmony with nature and fully respects our planet.”