Stephen O’Keeffe

Stephen O'KeeffeI started working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for Almarai, the world’s largest vertically integrated dairy company while I was still studying Dairy Science at University College Cork. After earning an honours BSc there, I worked for the burgeoning Almarai for 10 years in different roles from NPD through QA and Operations.

I returned home to Schull to set up the Land t0 Brand project management and consultancy business. Over the past ten years I have specialised in New Product Development and New Process Development, Design and Build for clients in the food sector. While managing projects for Almarai, I was able to hone my natural interpersonal and communications capabilities and augment them with organizational and technical skills. I have led a number of New Product Development projects and successful launches of new yogurts, soft cheeses, flavoured milk drinks and flavoured fermented drinks. I have also achieved efficiency and productivity increases by leading successful projects to design and implement new processes and new packing methods for new products as well as process improvements and modifications projects. I have worked on dairy, meat and fish products and related processing plants.

I have recently completed a major project to design and build a 250kL/Day plant that will produce dairy liquids, flavoured dairy beverages, yogurts, recombined milk products and soft cheeses for short and long shelf-life markets.

Although my base is Schull, and much of my work is with Irish businesses, I spend about half my time in the Middle East and I am deeply familiar with the social and business cultures of the region. My clients value my ability to think and communicate clearly, which helps management and staff to understand their contribution to the success of the project – and what to do next.

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