DAERA permanent secretary addresses NIGTA members

David O'Connor, President of the Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association, welcomed Noel Lavery, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to the quarterly meeting of the Association.
David O'Connor, President of the Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association, welcomed Noel Lavery, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to the quarterly meeting of the Association.
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Noel Lavery, permanent secretary of the newly­formed Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), briefed guests at the NIGTA lunch on the structures, synergies and challenges of his new department.

Led by Minister Michelle McIlveen, DAERA brings together functions from the former DOE, DARD and DCAL. It has a budget of £265m, employs nearly 3,000 staff based in over 70 locations and covers a broad spectrum of areas from air quality to zoo licensing.

Guests were told that by moving these functions under one single policy leadership, the new minister and her department has an opportunity to drive an integrated policy agenda for growing the agri-food sector and protecting and improving the environment.