NI levy board under review

Northern Ireland's meat levy body is to come under an independent strategic review, a minister has announced.

Minister for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle Gildernew said that she has met with Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC) executives regarding the review.

She asked for the industry to submit comments on the LMC via a new website as part of the consultation.

Gildernew said: “The LMC has been subject to reviews in the past and I believe it is timely for one to be conducted now. This strategic review will help identify a model that will deliver the best results, for those stakeholders who pay a levy to the LMC.”

She added: “I would encourage all those involved to engage fully with the consultation process, to help ensure that we get the best outcome for our industry.”

The core objectives of the LMC review will include undertaking a cross-cutting and fundamental review of the need/rationale for LMC and a review of whether there is a continuing need for the functions and activities carried out by LMC, among others.

LMC chairman Pat O’Rourke said: “LMC’s overriding vision is for a sustainable and profitable future for the Northern Ireland beef and sheep meat industry at all levels of the supply chain. However, as an executive non-departmental public body, we are bound by stringent red tape at a European and regional government level, which is severely restricting the way in which we can do business.

The Board and Executive Team at LMC have been calling for a fundamental review of the role of LMC and the legislative environment in which we operate for quite some time and, we are delighted that the process has now begun."

Anyone wishing to take part in the consultations online can answer a questionnaire found at which will be open until the 17 September 2009.

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