New chair appointed to AFBI board

Date published: 01 April 2019

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced the appointment of Mr Colin Coffey as the new chair to the board of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).


Mr Coffey’s appointment is effective from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2022. 

A Chartered Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors with 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.

Colin is currently non-executive chairman of Flint Studios, a software development company, and 4 Beauty Group, a specialist skincare company. He is also corporate services director of specialist property development company, the RDA Group.

Mr Coffey’s role as the current deputy chair of the AFBI Board and his broad experience in the private sector will bring professional finance, governance and specialist experience to the AFBI chair position. He arrives at a time of significant change for AFBI, as the organisation faces a range of strategic challenges over the medium term

AFBI is a multi-disciplinary organisation with around 640 staff involved in high technology research and development, diagnostic and analytical testing for DAERA and other government departments, public bodies and commercial companies in Northern Ireland, and further afield.

Its three main areas of work are:

  • Natural and marine environment
  • Animal, plant and human health and welfare
  • Sustainable livestock production

AFBI occupies seven sites across Northern Ireland;

  • Newforge Lane (HQ)
  • Stormont
  • Hillsborough
  • Crossnacreevy
  • Loughgall
  • Omagh
  • Bushmills
  • a 53 metre dedicated marine research vessel based in Port of Belfast

Notes to editors: 

Mr Coffey lives in Bangor, Co. Down. He has held numerous positions, both executive and non-executive, at a senior level related to corporate governance and strategy formulation and implementation.

  1. The post attracts a remuneration of £26,510 per annum. 
  2. Mr Coffey is currently deputy chairman of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute.
  3. The above appointment is based on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland (CPANI) requires the political activity of appointees to be published. The appointee has not been involved in any political activity during the past five years.
  4. The appointment is made in accordance with the Agriculture (NI) Order 2004 and the Commissioner for Public Appointments Northern Ireland (CPA NI) Code of Practice.
  5. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook.
  6. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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