Extension of the Chair of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute Board position

Date published: 20 March 2024

The Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Andrew Muir has announced the extension of Colin Coffey as Chair of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) Board for a five-month period while a public appointment process to appoint a new Chair is progressed.


This decision has been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments in Northern Ireland and the extended term will take effect from 1 April 2024.

Notes to editors: 

  1. AFBI is a DAERA Executive Non-Departmental Public Body set up under the powers of the Agriculture (NI) Order 2004. It is empowered under the Order to undertake scientific work (research and development, testing, advice and information on scientific matters and dissemination of the results of scientific research) in the fields of agriculture, animal health and welfare, food, fisheries, forestry, the natural environment and rural development and enterprise. 
  2. The Chair’s appointment on 1 April 2019 was 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. The appointee has not been involved in any political activity during the past five years.
  3. The Chair of the AFBI Board is expected to commit in the region of 40 days per year, for which remuneration of £28,049 per annum is paid.
  4. Mr Coffey has served as Chair of the AFBI Board for five years, over two terms, from 1 April 2019, with the current term ending on 31 March 2024. Colin has experience of being a Chartered Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors and extensive experience in corporate governance. Colin has held a number of senior management posts within the Northern Ireland food industry. These include Chief Executive of United Feeds and Manufacturing Director at Pritchitt Foods. Mr Coffey currently holds public appointments as a Non-Executive Director with Invest NI, which commenced in April 2020, with an annual remuneration of £13,577 and a time commitment of 3 days per month and he was appointed as the Non-Executive Chair to the Public Health Agency from 1 November 2023, which is remunerated at £37,372 per annum, with a time commitment of 3 days per week.
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  6. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office: pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk or telephone: 028 9016 3460.
  7. 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.

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