Protecting our environment whilst enhancing our agri-food sector will be the key focus of my tenure as DAERA Minister.
That was the message from Edwin Poots who has been appointed as Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Welcoming his appointment Minister Poots said his new role presented some challenges but also many opportunities.
Minister Poots said: “The work this Department does affects and impacts on everyone in Northern Ireland, from the food we eat, the air we breathe, our wonderful landscape, our rural communities and our agriculture sector. DAERA boasts one of the most important, diverse, wide-ranging and interesting portfolios and it is a privilege for me to hold this post.
“My focus will be on ensuring we have sustainable agri-food, fisheries, forestry and industrial sectors; prioritising a clean, healthy environment, benefiting people, nature and the economy and enabling a thriving rural economy.
“There is no doubt that we face many challenges, from the potential impacts of Brexit and tackling climate change along with issues like ammonia, TB and protecting our environment. It will only be by working together, across government, industry and indeed as citizens, that we will be able to face them and find workable solutions.
“The agri-food sector employs approximately 100,000 people and generates more than £4billion in sales and exports. It is in a unique position to positively impact and influence not only our economy, but also our environment. Those working in the sector are the custodians of our green lands and must be at the very core of any future policies to protect and enhance our environment.
“I will continue to work with the agri-food industry to ensure the sector is profitable, sustainable and productive, with people at its heart.”
The Minister concluded: "It is a privilege to be asked to take up this role and I look forward to working with industry, stakeholders and the wider community all of whom make a valuable contribution to our environment and economy.”
Notes to editors:
1. Mr Poots is from Lisburn, was educated at the Wallace High School, Lisburn, and studied at Greenmount Agricultural College. He is married with four children. He was a farmer and previously served on Lisburn City Council including serving as Deputy Lord Mayor.
He has been a member of the NI Assembly since the first Assembly elected in 1998. He first appointed as Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure in the Northern Ireland Executive in 2007- he was also Minister of the Environment from 2009 and served as the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety from 2011 until September 2014.
3. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email to email@example.com Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.
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