The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) has confirmed the appointment of Joe M Stewart OBE, LLP, JP as chair of the organisation’s board.  

In addition, John Hood, David Mark, Sean McKeever, David Torrens and Elaine Willis have been appointed as new members on the LMC Board.

The appointments will be for a period of three years, with the possibility of future re-appointment to a second term.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has welcomed the re-establishment of a full LMC board membership.

Their appointments were announced by Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris MP.

Joe M Stewart commented: “As chair I am very much looking forward to working with the newly appointed board members, as we, alongside the staff team, drive forward LMC’s service delivery for farmers, stakeholders and the wider agri-food industry.

“Having served for two years on the last LMC board, I have always been impressed with the enthusiasm of the LMC team in supporting beef and lamb producers across Northern Ireland.”

Stewart has confirmed that a review of the commission’s strategic plan will soon commence with the board and staff team united in their determination to drive forward the interests of beef and lamb producers and processors in Northern Ireland. 

Livestock and Meat Commission

Taking stock of LMC’s broad and varied portfolio, Stewart noted that sustainability will be an area of growth for LMC.

“Overarching the sustainability agenda in Northern Ireland is the need to comply with relevant legislation,” he said.

“LMC is playing a central role with industry and government partners in the development and roll-out of several important sustainability initiatives including livestock genetic improvement, measuring and managing carbon emissions and the reduction of industry losses through animal health and welfare improvements.”

For decades the Northern Ireland Beef and Lamb Farm Quality Assurance Scheme (NIBL FQAS) has been a central area of work for the commission.

Stewart reiterated the commission’s commitment to NIBL FQAS going forward, stating:

“With over 11,500 members, NIBL FQAS is established as an integral aspect of the beef and lamb sector in Northern Ireland.

“NIBL FQAS works closely with farmers, processors and retailers to provide unrivalled and independent guarantees to consumers about the provenience, traceability and quality of beef and lamb.

“What is clear is that neither LMC nor the industry within which we deliver our services, can afford to stand still and let change happen around us.

“Looking at the future direction of policy, a key focus for farmers and industry stakeholders will be to work together with government to co-design and drive forward the environmental and sustainability agenda,” he said.