The Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) has appointed the general manager of foodservice operations for Lakeland Dairies, Tim Acheson, to its board.

The Banbridge man is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science.

Acheson has been instrumental in the development of Lakeland Dairies’ operations in Northern Ireland including the implementation of capital investment strategies which have created world-class dairy foodservice operations.

The association, which is a voluntary organisation, helps Northern Ireland food and drink companies compete successfully internationally and also lobbies on their behalf within Northern Ireland. Its members include many of Northern Ireland’s biggest agri-food companies.

Tim Acheson said: “I’m very pleased and honoured to take on this role to represent the interests of the foodservice sector in Northern Ireland.

Food and drink represents a £5 billion industry for Northern Ireland and foodservice forms an integral part of this.

“NIFDA plays a valuable role in supporting our local food and drink sector, working with members, government and stakeholders to create the right conditions for sustainable, export-led growth for the industry. I am delighted to be joining NIFDA in helping to grow this vital industry.”

Brian Irwin, NIFDA chairman, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Tim Acheson to the NIFDA board. He brings a great depth of expertise which will be beneficial as we continue to promote the foodservice sector and the entire food and drink industry in Northern Ireland.”