Oonagh was awarded the prestigious Irish Quality Food Awards Food Hero 2019 prize at the awards ceremony in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin in October.

Oonagh Monahan founded Alpha Omega Consultants in 2008. Throughout her career, Oonagh has gained extensive experience working with developing a range of SME companies. Her project management skills are strong, and include co-ordination across a range of disciplines, functions and international sites. Oonagh is a Chartered Scientist and Fellow of the IFST, the Institute of Food Science and Technology (UK) and is a Fellow of the IFSTI. She is a Certified Management Consultant. In 2013 she published her first book - Money for Jam, the Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Small Food Business and the 2nd Edition was published in 2017.

In addition to her Bachelor and Masters degrees, Oonagh holds a Graduate Diploma in Food Science and Technology with 2.1 Hons, awarded by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (UK), and has qualifications in Marketing Management and in Training and Education. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma Business and Management at the William J. Clinton Leadership Institute at Queen's University Belfast with Distinction.

Oonagh has worked for Élan Pharmaceuticals in Athlone, Manor Bakeries Ltd. UK (Mr. Kipling Cakes), Kerry Group (Grove Farm turkeys), and was Production Manager for seven years with Fort Dodge Animal Health in Sligo (Ireland) where she was appointed to the Board of Directors. She spent four years as General Manager of St. Angela’s Food Technology Centre at St. Angela’s College on the shores of Lough Gill, also in Sligo.

Oonagh occasionally lectures at St. Angela’s College in New Product Development and EU and Irish Food Legislation

Alpha Omega has unrivalled academic contacts through its work with Líonra, St Angela’s Food Technology Centre, Teagasc and its ongoing work with the Intertrade Ireland FUSION programme across the majority of academic food institutes on the island. Oonagh also involved with the ICBAN 3rd Level Education Network Technology & Innovation Programme 2004 and was a member of the ICBAN cross-border Third Level Education network. She was elected by her peers as a Graduate representative on the NUI Galway Governing Authority 2004-8 and re-elected 2009-12.

Oonagh has a strong track record having developed, managed and delivered many food business innovation development programmes, including:

  • Food Specialist to Animate the Small Food Sector in Mayo North East, commenced May 2010. In its Strategic Plan for the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013, Mayo North East LEADER Partnership Company identified the potential of the small food sector in the Mayo North East area as a sector that could bring about and support small local food businesses using local resources. Oonagh Monahan, as the appointed Food Specialist consultant, will organise, promote, co-ordinate and deliver a series of tasks for the development of the small food sector in the region;
  • Feasibility Study on Developing the Sheepmeat sector in Co. Wicklow and exploring the Potential for County Wicklow Partnership, Sept 2009 – April 2010. The aim of the study is to fully evaluate the options and opportunities for sheep producers in Wicklow to gain a higher premium for their quality lamb in order to offer economic sustainability for this enterprise and to explore the possibility of building a brand for Wicklow lamb. Ultimately the aim of the study will be to establish how Wicklow producers can sell more lamb at a higher price;
  • West Cavan West Fermanagh regeneration project – mentor to farm based food business in Co. Fermanagh, assisting with routes to market, packaging and labelling, Brand development (Unique Selling Point), business to business networking, skills development and training requirements, sourcing training courses, developing the provenance, marketing plan, nutritional and health benefits of the products, Protected Geographical Indication, Slaughter / Processing Partner options, benchmarking against competitors, cost analysis and pricing, and signposting to other resources;
  • Food Technology Transfer Initiative for the BMW Regional Assembly Innovative Actions programme;
  • Facilitating Innovation in Functional Foods (Irish Central Border Area Network);
  • Innovation Driving Economic Activity – I.D.E.A. – (funded by the International Fund for Ireland and Fás);
  • Business Mentoring For Winners for Líonra, funded through the BMW Regional Assembly;
  • Ireland Newfoundland Partnership Bursary for Seafood development;
  • ICBAN Bursary for Organic Bread development under the rd Level Education Network Technology & Innovation Programme;
  • Innovation Partnerships – Enterprise Ireland funded Feasibility Research projects;
  • Innovation Vouchers – Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouchers
  • Do You Need a Speaker for Your Next Event?

    Oonagh is an engaging and enthusiastic speaker, and is available to talk about Food Business startup & growth, SME business development, female entrepreneurship, and Innovation & Creativity. Oonagh also encourages others to write and talks about how she commercialised her knowledge by capturing it in a book.

    The Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Small Food Business

    Now available to order online! 

    Have you ever thought about trying to earn some money from producing food? Are you the person everyone goes to for their lemon meringue pies, apple tarts and other desserts for family occasions or other events? Do you have a garden of rhubarb or other fruit? Do you make jam every year and give it away when you could be selling it? Do you fancy the idea of making cheese or yogurt or ice cream but don’t know where to start?

    If so, then this is the book for you! Learn more ...

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