The Dairy Council for Northern Ireland has elected a new Chairman and Vice Chairman. Appointed at the Council’s AGM on 12 June, the new Chairman is Harry O’Neill, a dairy producer from Dromore, Omagh, Co. Tyroneand the new Vice Chairman is Dr David Dobbin CBE, Group Chief Executive of United Dairy Farmers.

Accepting his nomination, Harry O’Neill, said: “I’m delighted to have been elected Chairman of the Dairy Council. I count it a great honour and I look forward to my period in office over the next two years. The dairy industry is a very important part of both the agri–food sector in Northern Ireland, and our local economy.

“Even though it has grown significantly over the past decade, it has the potential to develop further and to continue to provide much needed revenue and employment. Although exports are a very important part of the dairy industry’s portfolio, the domestic market remains very important in terms of income.

“Therefore, the work of the Dairy Council in maintaining and developing the consumption of milk and dairy products is vital to the future well being of the dairy industry”.

Newly elected Vice Chairman, Dr David Dobbin CBE, said he supported the Chairman’s views, commenting:

“The recent Report by the Agri–food Strategy Board has highlighted the potential for growth, not only of the entire agri–food sector, but particularly for the dairy sector. Much of this growth will be export lead, but we need to remember the importance of our local market for milk and dairy products.

“Despite having a strong dairy industry there are still plenty of opportunities to increase local sales of locally made dairy products, especially in cheese and butter and to develop more added value products which will boost farmer incomes.”

Pictured left to right: newly appointed Vice–Chairman, Dr David Dobbin CBE, Group Chief Executive of United Dairy Farmers; the Dairy Council’s Chief Executive, Dr Mike Johnston; and new Dairy Council Chairman, Harry O’Neill, a dairy farmer from Dromore, Omagh/Image courtesy Dairy Council