Meat association appoints AHDB director

Nick Allen has been appointed BMPA chief executive

The British Meat Processors’ Association (BMPA) has appointed former Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) market development director Nick Allen as its chief executive. 

Allen will start his new role in mid-February. He has spent 19 years in the red meat sector, joining ADHB’s predecessor the Meat and Livestock Commission in 1998.

He went on to lead the regional manager team at the AHDB’s English Beef and Lamb Executive, becoming director in 2009.

Christine Watts, AHDB’s chief officer for communications and market development, will assume responsibility for the market development director role on a temporary basis.

Allen said: “I am really looking forward to the new challenge. For the first time in 40 years, the UK is now writing its own UK food strategy and it is important the meat industry and BMPA both play their part in shaping and developing that strategy.

‘New challenge’

“It has been a privilege to work at AHDB, and I look forward to continuing to work with AHDB – albeit in a different capacity.”

Peter Mitchell, BMPA president, said Allen would bring a wealth of experience to the organisation and would be joining at an exciting and challenging time for the meat sector.

“The council and I are looking forward to working with Nick over the coming months, as he seeks to engage with the membership and provide strategic leadership to the BMPA,” added Mitchell.

Allen’s appointment followed AHDB board member and AHDB pork sector board chair Meryl Ward’s decision to step down from the role on December 28 last year.

Decision to step down

Ward has decided not to put herself forward for re-appointment when her term of office ends in March this year.

She said her decision was forced by the workload involved and the consequent impact on her own business. 

“It is a real privilege to have had the opportunity to contribute to AHDB and to lead the pork sector board,” said Ward.

“I appreciate the hard work and commitment that the pork board and all the staff has put in over the challenging last 18 months of the AHDB restructure.” 

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has begun searching for a new chair from its board members.

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