Dairy Council elects new chair and vice-chair
Dairy Council for Northern Ireland has elected a new chairman and vice-chair to its board.
Banbridge dairy farmer, Norman Thompson, has been elected as the council’s new chairman, while Dermot Farrell, general manager of Lakeland Dairies Food Service Division, will take up the role of vice-chair.
Both Thompson and Farrell will hold the positions for two years.
Speaking following his election as chairman, Thompson said: “It is a great honour to be elected chair of the Dairy Council, which, in this new post Brexit era, has an even more important role on behalf of our industry.
We face many challenges in the coming years, not least in the area of climate change, and the policies that will be required to deliver the targets that will be set for agri-food.
“The Dairy Council will continue to be a strong industry voice, playing its role in shaping the policies set to meet stretching targets and ensure the Northern Ireland dairy sector can continue to grow sustainably.
“As these targets and policies emerge we need a strong industry voice, through the Dairy Council, to ensure that we are not hamstrung and can continue to grow as we have been doing in a sustainable way.
“I farm in partnership with my son, and I want him to have a future as a dairy farmer so that, together with all Northern Ireland dairy farmers, we can continue to drive the local economy, producing high quality, nutritious milk, not only for consumers in NI, but also those in GB and countries around the world where our dairy products are in demand.”
New Dairy Council vice-chair
In accepting his election as vice-chair, Dermot Farrell, said: “I am looking forward to working with Norman and our staff over the next two years, as the NI dairy sector transitions in the new post-Brexit environment.
“There will be many challenges, and there will also be opportunities that will open for our industry.
Having dairy farmers and dairy processors at the same table in the Dairy Council, coming together in a common cause to help our sector as a whole, is the best way to enable the Northern Ireland dairy sector to deal with the challenges and grasp the opportunities.
“The next few years, in particular, will not be easy but we know, based on our experience of Covid, that our sector is resilient and has the ability to continue to produce high-quality milk and dairy products, even under very difficult conditions.”