Jack and Nick Cotter are the Cotter Brothers. The boys have been entrepreneurs from a young age, setting up their first business Cotter Bros Firewood aged 13 and 11 respectively. The business has received many accolades since. Recently, Nick received recognition for the Cotter Brother’s entrepreneurial successes from UCC, being awarded a Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholarship in 2019 and the firm also were awarded WFQA (Wood Fuel Quality Assurance) certification at the National Ploughing Championships in September 2019. They have maintained WFQA certification since 2013.
The brothers now sit on the Oversight Committee of WFQA working to improve firewood quality nationally and to provide information to other producers on best practice in the industry. Cotter Bros Firewood is a prime example of how the firewood industry is providing local employment and locally sourced renewable fuel, which keeps money in our local economies and boosts enterprise in rural areas.
In 2019 the brothers started their second business, ‘Cotter Organic Lamb’, launched in August at the Cotter Bros Firewood Open Day by Sean Kelly MEP, Councillor Michael Collins and chef Tom Flavin. They direct sell the organic, 100% Grass Fed lamb produced on their farm outside Abbeyfeale. The lamb is 7-day dry aged and is 100% antibiotic free. This business won the 'Rising Star' award at the Irish Quality Food Awards 2019.
Jack and Nick are currently working on ‘The Cotter Crate’, their third venture. The Cotter Crate won ‘Best Agri-Engineering Start-up’ and the Alfred Cox Founder’s Perpetual Trophy for the ‘Best Overall Start-up Innovation’ at the 2019 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Awards at the Ploughing Championships. They also won the Engineers Ireland Student Innovator of The Year Award for The Cotter Crate.
In the meantime, they continue to expand Cotter Bros Firewood and are helping develop policy to grow the firewood market nationally through Government support (dSSRH). They are marketing and promoting Cotter Organic Lamb and working to launch ‘The Cotter Crate’ in 2020 along with meeting their own high standards in university studies at LIT (Jack) and UCC (Nick).