QUB unveils scholarship in memory of late Finnebrogue founder

QUB unveils scholarship in memory of late Finnebrogue founder
Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

Finnebrogue Artisan has unveiled the new Denis Lynn Scholarship for Sustainable Food Innovation in collaboration with Queen’s University, Belfast.

It is being billed as the most lucrative food education scholarship in the UK, amounting to £20,000 of tuition and living support, internships at Finnebrogue, the non-profit organisation Foundation Earth and a renowned international food producer.

Commenting on the scholarship, Christine Lynn, Denis’s wife and Finnebrogue director said: “Denis was a visionary who worked tirelessly in his personal life and work life to deliver positive change for the planet and people.

“It is our hope that this scholarship, which guarantees a job within Finnebrogue’s Innovation Hub upon successful completion of the year-long Master’s 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.”

In 2017, Denis made headlines around the world with the launch of revolutionary nitrite-free Naked Bacon. He spearheaded a technological process that created smoked Naked Bacon without 99 per cent of the dangerous chemicals that are usually involved in a traditional smoking process.

From his early days, Denis was a food disruptor, not afraid to take risks or try something new.  In discovering a new French fry, he became the largest customer of Lord Chips in Europe and used the money he made to buy the beautiful Finnebrogue estate. From here, he supplied deer to Michelin star restaurants, top supermarkets and celebrity chefs.

Denis was at the heart of many food revolutions, from the posh dog to sulphite-free Naked Sausages to wagyu beef burgers.

He was the brainchild behind Foundation Earth, a not-for-profit organisation that launched in summer 2021 and issues front of pack eco-scores on the sustainability credentials of a product.

Professor Chris Elliott OBE, Founder of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast said the scholarship was a fitting way to honour the memory of Denis Lynn.

He 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. We are delighted here at IGFS and Queen’s University Belfast to be part of such a scheme.”