Nick Whelan, CEO of the group Dale’s Farm and the chairman’s Northern Ireland The Food and Beverage Association (NIFDA) has called for a new era of collaboration between industry and government to help agri-food companies realize their environmental ambitions and reduce carbon emissions.
Mr. Whelan spoke in Ulster Bank lunch at the Presidential Hall of the show, as part of a panel also attended by Mr. Justin Coleman, Director of Agribusiness and Direct Production at My parkand Cormac McKervey, senior manager of agriculture at Ulster Bank.
Nick Whelan said: “The biggest challenge we have to face as an industry in the coming years is the need to continue to feed the world’s growing population in the most sustainable way.
“Dale Farm is serious about this issue, and sustainability is at the heart of everything we do as a dairy cooperative – from environmental sustainability to the economic sustainability of our members’ farms.
“For the agri-food industry as a whole, innovation, investment and data collection will be key to ensuring that the industry plays its part in achieving the UK’s net zero. It will also require a new era of industry-government cooperation, and we look forward to working with the new Assembly on these issues. ”
Introducing Moy Park at the event, agribusiness director Justin Coleman spoke at length about the importance of sustainability for the industry. “We have always been guided by evolving consumer trends, and it is very clear that today’s consumer wants businesses to make greater commitments in this area.
“At Moy Park, we have the advantage of an integrated supply chain that helps us work more closely and efficiently with our manufacturers and customers. This, in turn, helps us to insist on our promise to reduce to zero by 2040, a commitment that has been reaffirmed by the Science-Based Goals Initiative (SBTi). ”
The head of Olster Bank in Northern Ireland, Mark Crimins, commented: “Ulster Bank’s dinner at the Balmoral Show has become a key event on the calendar for high-ranking agri-food industry figures.
“We have always had first-class speakers, and this has turned into a useful forum for raising and discussing important ideas and issues relevant to the industry. Both Nick and Justin provided valuable information to our invited audience, and we are grateful that they took the time to attend the event.
“The contribution of Nick and Justin has really highlighted the importance of partnerships in the agri-food sector, and it is very important that farmers feel supported in the transition to a new, greener economy. Ulster Bank is committed to providing such support so that all businesses, regardless of size and scale, have access to the tools and financing they need to make the most of the opportunities that the transition to more environmentally friendly business practices can provide. That’s why we’ve introduced a number of green loan options to our business clients in Northern Ireland.
“It’s encouraging to see that other businesses are repeating this message, and we’re grateful once again that our core sponsorship of the Balmoral Show gives us this level of engagement with industry leaders.”
The Ulster Bank Lunch at the Balmoral Show is in its 12th year and welcomes speakers, including Keelings Retail CEO David Killing; ABP CEO George Mulan; and Professor Grain Allen, Head of Product Development at Marks and Spencer.
Nick Whelan is the CEO of Dale Farm, the largest dairy cooperative in Northern Ireland, owned by 1,300 farmers. Nick has been at the forefront of operations since 2016 and during that time has run the company through a number of issues, including Brexit talks and the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the leadership of Nick Dale Farm has achieved record growth through continuous reinvestment in its domestic and international business.
Justin Coleman joined Moy Park in 2014 and held a number of roles in the organization before being appointed director of agribusiness and direct production. He is responsible for overseeing hatcheries and feed mills, and has a large track record of leading innovations and improvements within the firm, working to ensure sustainable, safe and best-in-class performance. Prior to embarking on Moy Park, Justin had extensive experience working with international clients and supplying outlets through roles in Finlay’s and Waitrose horticulture.
Ulster Bank has a long history of participating in the Balmoral Show and became the main sponsor of the event in 2009. More information about Ulster Bank is available at www.ulsterbank.co.uk
https://www.farminglife.com/country-and-farming/agri-food-firms-can-thrive-by-going-green-say-industry-leaders-3693898 Food companies can thrive if they are environmentally friendly, industry leaders say