New Chair of the Livestock and Meat Commission appointed

Gerard McGivern will Chair the commission until November 2018.

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle ONeill has announced the selection of Gerard McGivern as the new Chair of the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC). His appointment is effective until the beginning of November 2018.

The Commission, which was established in 1967, has the general duty of assisting the development of the livestock (cattle and sheep) and livestock product sectors of the local agri-food industry. It provides a range of services to producers and meat traders including market intelligence and undertakes promotional activities. It also administers the Farm Quality Assurance Scheme and market support arrangements for beef and lamb in Northern Ireland.

Confirming the new appointment, the Minister said: Gerard McGivern has extensive experience of working collaboratively with many organisations. He has been involved in various marketing roles at a senior level throughout his career and therefore will be a positive addition to the board of the LMC.

McGivern is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Fellow of the Institute of Economic Development. He has been involved at a senior level in a number of district councils in various marketing roles including leading the formulation and delivery of the Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion Tourism Marketing Brand.

He was also the founding Manager of Banbridge District Enterprises Ltd and has been involved in cross border initiatives. He declared no conflicts of interest and confirmed he has no issues with the time commitment associated with the role.

Role

McGivern told agri-food magazine that he does not see his lack of experience within the agri-food sector as a disadvantage, in the context of his new role. I am working with a tremendous team of people, both other board members and executive staff, he said. The Commission is committed to playing a pivotal role in delivering a sustainable cattle and sheep sector for farmers in Northern Ireland.

As part of this we will be surveying farmers with regard to the specific roles they want us to undertake and we have a bright future to look forward to. The beef and sheep industries already have strong supply contacts with the UK supermarkets. They, in turn, are operating in one of the EUs strongest red meat markets, from a price point of view.

All of this is good news for local beef and sheep producers. But we want to build on this for the future.

McGivern was commenting in the wake of the recent Going for Growth report, which made several key recommendations to Northern Irelands beef and sheep meat industries. These were developed to help increase opportunities and the profitability of local livestock farming businesses.

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