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New Chair leads Association’s first board established to represent NI food to go businesses

The Northern Ireland Food to Go Association, the trade body which represents and supports takeaway and food to go businesses, has appointed a new Chairperson to lead their expert Board for 2024/25.

Kiera Campbell, Sales Director at Henderson Foodservice, a leading supplier to the hospitality industry across Ireland, has been named Chairperson and will help form and lead the Board that will be made up of several key industry experts, including Michael Henderson, who founded the organisation five years ago, and has been lobbying on behalf of the Association’s 750+ members, and the wider sector ever since.

The NI Food to Go Association, which has recently rebranded from its former NI Takeaway Association moniker to be more representative of the ever-evolving industry here, provides an expert voice, advice and advocacy under its “unite, support, grow” ethos, while upholding industry standards for businesses working in the sector across Northern Ireland.

A recent survey of the Association’s members highlighted key priorities for the board to help lead their business members through, with 70% of respondents stating recruitment remains a major issue due to the skilled workers definition leading to a workforce shortage. Other issues included business rates, insurance, utility bills and sustainability.

Mr Henderson commented; “For the past five years, we have been lobbying on behalf of a sector that has seen resilience in the face of huge challenges, while it continues to provide vital career prospects for the future food to go entrepreneurs of Northern Ireland, but there is still more to be done.

“I am delighted to welcome Kiera Campbell to Chair our Board, which will be carefully selected to provide expert support for members of our Association, from HR queries to financial advice, rates relief, and filling job vacancies – all the most important priorities for our members. Kiera is a well-respected and prominent voice of the industry through her career with Henderson Foodservice, which supplies to thousands of food to go customers, many of whom are members of our Association.”

Kiera Campbell has over 20 years’ experience within the food and drink industry, and has been a Director at Henderson Foodservice for 10 years. Engaging with hospitality businesses on a daily basis, Kiera is well placed to lead the Board in providing expert advice and support for members.

Commenting on her new role, Kiera said this is a sector of her industry that has been underrepresented and she is looking forward to getting to work with some key priorities.

“Northern Ireland has one of the most thriving food to go industries in the UK, they are an innovative group who are growing the sector after spotting some fantastic opportunities through a very challenging few years. The sector has many of the same issues that the wider hospitality industry is facing, but without a valid trade body to support them through the complicated areas of the issues,” says Kiera.

“I’m proud to lead the NI Food to Go Association’s Board through its first year in situ, working with members to provide expert advice, with wider groups lobbying on their behalf. This is a much needed Association for our food to go businesses here and I look forward to meeting even more members in the coming weeks and months.”

The NI Food to Go Association will work with local MLAs to create all-party advisory panel at Stormont to help resolve industry issues within the Executive and Assembly at Stormont.

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