AN eventful year for North-ern Ireland Food Chain Certification has seen the
company return a much improved performance wh-ile building a sustainable model for the future.
Chairman, Robin Irvine informed the annual general meeting: “Following a difficult year which was heavily impacted by Covid restrictions, NIFCC has overcome the financial and operational challenges, and returned a very satisfactory result for the year ending 30th March 2021. The trading profit of £109,000 represents a major improvement on the previous year and restores the balance sheet to a very respectable level.”
NIFCC has also welcomed a new owner in the form of the Pork and Bacon Forum, which will represent the pig sector following the wind-up of the Ulster Curers Association.
The board expressed thanks to Bettina Ruddell for her valued service as a director and welcomed Deirdre McIvor, CEO of the Pork and Bacon Forum, to the board.
The year saw the departure of the company’s chief executive and a restructuring of the management team was required to maintain a cost effective audit and certification service to the food industry.
Outlining the new management structure within the company, Robin reported on the appointment of a finance manager to ensure the timely flow of financial information which is essential to effectively manage the increasing scale and complexity of the business.
The team has also been strengthened by internal promotions with Daphne Brennan appointed Compliance Manager, Catherine O’Melvena becoming Inspection Manager and Certification Officers promoted to Certification Managers: Lauren Vennard and Amy Andrews (Agriculture) and Kathryn Graham (Food).
“We are particularly pleased to be able to offer career progression for successful employees who have proved their worth within the business,” continued Robin.
“Looking forward, we are faced with significant changes in the current year and our inspectors will be required to audit to a new standard from Red Tractor Dairy and an additional environmental section for the LMC’s beef and lamb scheme.
“We very much appreciate the efforts of the staff and management team through challenging times and commend them on achieving an excellent report from the recent accreditation audit from UKAS.”
Special thanks were expressed to Valerie McCann, the company secretary, for her continued de-dication and commitment to NIFCC, and to Liam McNeill, the Certification Committee Chairman, and its members for their time, commitment and expertise to ensure the smooth running of the inspection and certification services.
New appointments to this Cert-ification Committee include Crosby
Cleland as farmers’ representative appointed by the UFU and Paul
Reaney as a processor represent-ative appointed by NIFDA.
The board expressed regret on the death of Paddy McElroy earlier this year and noted his valuable contribution as the LMC’s owner representative.
He has been replaced by Joe Stewart.