Colin Smith has been appointed interim CEO of the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) for Northern Ireland.

This follows the departure of the organisation’s former CEO, Ian Stevenson, to take up his new role with the Northern Ireland Dairy Council.

Smith, LMC’s industry development manager and former staff member with the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), takes up his new position with immediate effect.

Announcing his appointment, LMC board member, Joe Stewart said: “For over a decade Colin has worked at the heart of the commission’s business activities.

“His experience is important to LMC and our stakeholders during this period of transition.”

Since joining LMC, Smith has played a key role in helping to develop a number of key policy areas.

These include the evolution of Northern Ireland’s Farm Quality Assurance Scheme (FQAS) for beef and lamb plus Northern Ireland’s response to the challenge of reducing antibiotic usage within the livestock sectors.

“It is anticipated the new LMC Board will be appointed shortly,” Stewart added.

“One of their first items of business will be the recruitment of a permanent CEO for LMC and it is foreseen an appointment to the substantive post will happen as soon as possible.”


Looking ahead, it is envisaged that LMC will be centrally involved in the strategy that is followed to reduce the carbon footprint of local agriculture.

The commission has previously confirmed that FQAS will be used as a carbon survey platform in Northern Ireland.

This will allow a complete carbon footprint determination of 11,600 farms.

In essence, the work being undertaken will represent the collective outworking of a whole industry agreed approach for all the sectors: Beef, lamb, dairy, pigs, poultry and crops.

Smith has also been involved in the work to secure Northern Ireland’s inclusion within an EU Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for grass-fed Irish beef.

The European Commission had previously agreed the principles associated with the PGI for the Republic of Ireland.

Work at a technical level has been taking place over recent months to also confirm Northern Ireland’s compatibility with the terms of the scheme.   

A final decision from Brussels on this matter is expected in the very near future.

Currently, Joe Stewart is the only LMC board member in situ. Bringing the membership of the board back up to its full complement will require political intervention.

This would require the input of a Stormont Executive minister or, failing this, a decision by a member of the current Northern Ireland Office ministerial team.