David Johnston, Oliver McCann, Steven Millar (NIIAS Chairman) and Kevin McCann
Members and guests of the Northern Ireland Institute of Agricultural Science (NIIAS) recently spent a very pleasant afternoon visiting the premises of an apple packer and processor, and the orchard of an apple grower in Country Armagh. .
Founded in 1968, P McCann & Sons are leading packers and processors of apples, pears, pure apple juice and cider. Key to the McCann’s ongoing success is their in depth knowledge and expertise of fruit growing and marketing, and nothing is more important to them than the famous local Armagh bramley apple which received EU Protected Geographical Status (PGI) in 2012.
Oliver and Kevin McCann provided NIIAS members and guests from the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and the Agricultural Science Association (ASA) with a detailed background to the company’s history. Having progressed from selling bramley apples door to door when the company was founded, P McCann and Sons now pack and produce juice and cider from a wide range of locally grown fruit and they continue to invest in technology, marketing and expertise to ensure they are able to meet the current and future demands of the marketplace. McCann’s are listed with all of the major supermarket chains in the UK and Ireland and continue to expand their retail, wholesale and catering markets.
After an in depth tour of McCann’s apple packaging, processing and bottling facilities, the group visited a newly planted orchard outside Loughgall belonging to David Johnston. Established four years ago the orchard is an exemplar of the high density orchards appearing in the area which offer greatly increased productivity and ease of maintenance. Senior Horticulture Development Adviser Kieran Lavelle was on hand to explain the establishment, maintenance, harvest and best practice management including costs and projected returns associated with an orchard of this type.
The visit was followed by a buffet meal in the Famous Grouse, Loughgall. NIIAS would like to thank P McCann and sons and David Johnston for facilitating very informative visits to their respective premises.
NIIAS AGM held at AFBI Stoney Road facility
Outgoing NIIAS chair Dr Marian Scott congratulates Steven Millar
The Northern Ireland Institute of Agricultural Science AGM was held this week at AFBI’s Veterinary Science Division (VSD) site, Stoney Road, Dundonald. The visit included a presentation from Stanley McDowell, Director of AFBI’s Veterinary Sciences Division and a tour of the facilities which highlighted the crucial work which VSD carry out on behalf of both DARD and industry.
The NIIAS chair for 2014/15 is Steven Millar, a NIIAS member for almost 30 years and currently head of DARD’s Agri-Food Support Services Unit. Newly elected to the committee are Basil Bayne, (Harper Adams) Declan McDevitt (Siemens) and Louise Millsopp (DARD). Vice-chairman is David Wright (Irish Farmers Journal). NIIAS represents the professional interests of agriculture and food science graduates/diplomats working in Northern Ireland.
NIIAS Annual Conference 2014
Henry Horkan, Dr Marian Scott (NIIAS), Steve McLean and Peter Hannan
The Northern Ireland Institute of Agricultural Science (NIIAS) held its annual conference for 2014 on Wednesday February 26th.
The theme for this year’s conference was Consumer Confidence in Farming.
NIIAS would like to acknowledge the support for the conference received from from Moy Park, Trouw Nutrition, Thompsons and Skea Eggs
More information on the NIIAS conference including key messages from the conference speakers and photos can be found on the NIIAS News page
Leading academic addresses challenges facing global food
Professor Charles Godfrey
Professor Charles Godfrey, an expert in the challenges facing the global food system, tackled the issue of ‘sustainable intensification in agri-food’ when he came to Northern Ireland recently.
The event, which was jointly organised by the NI Institute of Agricultural Science (NIIAS) and the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), took place on Friday 29 November at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) Hillsborough.
Professor Godfrey is Hope Professor of Zoology at Jesus College, Oxford. He chaired the Lead Expert Group of the UK Government’s Foresight Project on the Future of Food and Farming and is a member of the Strategy Advisory Board of the UK Global Food Security Programme and the Steering Group of the UK Government Green Food Project. He is also a member of the UN’s Committee on World Food Security.
During his presentation, Professor Godfrey provided an insight into the future for agri-food, given the rising global demand for food, and increasing concern for the environment. This was follwed by a question and answer session.
The event was free to attend and was kindly sponsored by Devenish Nutrition and photos from the event can be viewed below.
Northern Ireland Institute of Agricultural Science