The Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Chris Heaton-Harris MP, has today announced the appointment of a Chairperson and five Members to the Livestock and Meat Commission Board.

Joseph Stewart has been appointed to the position of Chairperson. The five new members are John Hood, David Mark, Sean McKeever, David Torrens and Elaine Willis.  In the absence of Ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive, these appointments were made under the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2022. 

The new Chair took up the role on Monday 4 September 2023. 

The appointment of the five new members is effective from Monday 23 October 2023.

Biography of appointees 

Mr Joseph M Stewart OBE, LLB, JP, is retired and brings significant experience from the private and public sector, having held positions in the Engineering Employers Federation, Harland & Wolff, Police Authority (NI) and PSNI (in a non-police role).   Joseph has served as an LMC Board Member since 2021 and is a Non-Executive Director of the Public Health Agency. He also serves as Council Member of the Suffolk Sheep Society Ltd. Joseph was awarded an OBE for Public Service in 1994.

Mr John Hood has over 23 years in-depth experience in investment, marketing and economic development. For the last 10 years he was the Director of the Food and Drink Division at Invest NI where he delivered significant growth across the food and drink sector. 

Mr David Mark has extensive experience across the agri-food sector. Throughout his career he has worked directly with producers and major customers on agricultural technical areas. He previously served on the Northern Ireland Food Advisory Committee of the Food Standards Agency and is Chair of the Trade Exhibits Committee in the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS). 

Mr Sean McKeever is a Chartered Accountant and has substantial strategy, finance and governance experience within Health and Personal Social Services and NHS organisations. He currently serves as a non-executive director, and chair of the Governance and Audit Committee, of the Business Services Organisation. He also brings on farm experience as a producer of beef.

Mr David Torrens is a recently retired vet who has an in-depth knowledge of the agriculture sector through his role as Director of DAERA’s Veterinary Service Animal Health Group.  He currently serves as the Northern Ireland representative on the British Veterinary Association’s Policy Committee. He has extensive experience in the public sector, including in corporate governance and financial and risk management. 

Mrs Elaine Willis is a Retail Operations Director and brings significant experience in the Agri-Food Processing Industry, including New Product Development, Business Development and Sales and Marketing. Elaine represents the red meat processing sector on the College of Agriculture Farming and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) Advisory Group.

Details of body

The LMC is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).  The main duty of the LMC is to examine and recommend improvements in the marketing of livestock and livestock products.  

Terms of Chair Appointment

  • The Chair role requires approximately 48 days per annum.  
  • The Chair appointment to the LMC is for a three-year term. 
  • The Chairperson post is remunerated at £17,315 per annum. 

Terms of Member Appointment

  • The member role requires approximately 30 days per annum.  
  • The member appointment to the LMC is for a three-year term. 
  • The member post is remunerated at £6,485 per annum. 


The appointments are made in accordance with the Livestock and Meat Commission Act (Northern Ireland) 1967 and the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland (CPANI) Code of Practice. 

Political Activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. None of the candidates have declared any political activity in the last five years. 

Notes to editors

  1. The LMC was added by Statutory Instrument to the Northern Ireland Executive Formation Act 2022 on 10 July 2023. 

  2. Media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office: or phone 02890 524619.

  3. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

Published 24 October 2023