The 26th Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association AGM took place on 25th May 2022 at Craigavon Civic Centre, with DAERA Permanent Secretary Katrina Godfrey as guest keynote speaker. The meeting provided NIFDA members the opportunity to engage with Katrina to share perspectives on their businesses and the challenges and opportunities facing the food and drink sector here.
The AGM also saw the appointment of George Mullan as the new Chair of the NIFDA board. George is Managing Director of ABP in Northern Ireland and takes over from immediate past Chair Nick Whelan. He will hold the position for two years. Ursula Lavery, Technical and R&D Director Europe, Moy Park has been appointed as Vice Chair.
Speaking after his appointment, George Mullan said:
“This is a pivotal time for Northern Ireland food and drink as we seek to continue to grow the sector while navigating our way though the challenges of sustainable growth, climate change, food inflation and supply chain issues,” George Mullan said. “We cannot address these challenges alone. Progress areas will require investment and collaboration with stakeholders and all levels of government. We need to get the new Assembly up and running, and for Ministers to be appointed to champion the industry at this pivotal moment.
“Food and drink is a key strategic sector in the Northern Ireland economy. We are the largest single manufacturing industry here, generating £4.9 billion value added, and supporting 113,000 workforce jobs across the supply chain. We feed 10 million people worldwide, and our industry is world leading when it comes to quality, innovation, sustainability, animal welfare and commercial success.
“I am confident that we can boost our growth, build upon our sustainability credentials and play a key role in Northern Ireland’s economic recovery with the right level of collaboration between industry and government,” George concluded.