The Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC) will mark 25 years of the prestigious Northern Ireland Beef and Lamb Farm Quality Assurance Scheme (NIBL FQAS) with a celebratory dinner at the La Mon Hotel, Belfast on Tuesday 7 November.
LMC, which also commemorated its 50th anniversary this year, will celebrate alongside invited guests from across the agri-food industry, including a selection of farmers who have been involved with the scheme since its inception in 1992.
As one of the first farm quality assurance schemes developed in the world, the FQAS has ensured Northern Irish beef and lamb is recognised on a global platform and has helped red meat processors secure markets for locally produced beef and lamb.
Championing the scheme, LMC chairman, Gerard McGivern said: “Over the past 25 years, the scheme has brought great benefit to the beef and sheep meat sectors in Northern Ireland and will continue to do so in the years to come.
“The scheme ticks every box: traceability, animal welfare and the highest environmental standards – and has succeeded in giving customers total confidence in the quality, traceability and heritage of the beef and lamb they are buying.”
LMC’s chief executive, Ian Stevenson claims the scheme has been a “key foundation” for the industry and the commission is looking forward to celebrating its achievements.
Mr Stevenson commented: “We have been delighted to manage and operate the scheme on behalf of the industry over the last 25 years and will continue to do so.
“Quite a significant number of farmers have been involved in the scheme from the outset and have continued throughout the 25 years.
“This is testament to the strength of the scheme as it is a key foundation stone for marketing the industry and its products in domestic and export markets - and it has been very successful in delivering higher returns within the value chain for beef and lamb.
“We’re pleased to be marking the 25th anniversary of the scheme with our industry stakeholders, scheme members and customers – and look forward to the next chapter in developing our assurance programme and meeting the needs of the industry and customers in the years to come.”