Advantage Danske Bank, leading the way for food and drink

Advantage Food and Drink


Danske Bank is committed to supporting the growth and success of the local food and drink industry. This event addressed the opportunities for growth in new markets and the challenges created by the weakness of the euro against the pound, the volatility of global commodity prices and fluctuating demand from core markets.

We were joined by the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Jonathan Bell MLA and our guests also heard from Michael Bell, Executive Director of the NI Food and Drink Association. The event, chaired by Jim Fitzpatrick, also heard from a panel of experts from the industry including Arthur Richmond, Finance Director of SHS Group, Ciaran Mulgrew, MD of Niche Drinks, Gerry Maguire, MD of Linden Foods and Martin Hamilton, MD of Mash Direct.​​​​​​​



Jonathan Bell MLA, Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

Jonathan Bell MLA

Jonathan Bell MLA was appointed as a Junior Minister to the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister on 16 May 2011. As a Minister, he had joint responsibility for Children and Young People’s issues, Older People’s issues, coordinating Executive Business in the Assembly and assisting the First Minister with the discharge of his Ministerial functions. He was appointed Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment on 11th May 2015.

He graduated from Queen’s University, Belfast, with an Honours degree in psychology, and obtained a postgraduate diploma and a Masters degree in social work. He worked until 2010 in child care social work.

He sat on Craigavon Borough Council from 1997 until 2005, where he served as both Deputy Mayor and Mayor. In 2005 he was elected to Newtownards Borough Council.

In 2010 he was selected to fill a vacancy for the Strangford Constituency of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Mr Bell has previously held positions on the Northern Ireland Policing Board and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. He has also served as Chairman of a District Policing Partnership.

Michael Bell, NI Food and Drink Association

Michael Bell

Michael Bell has thirty years’ experience in the food industry.

He worked in Northern Ireland and Malta for fourteen years working closely with major retailers and was a member of the Board of Ormeau Bakery.

He holds a Food Science (Hons) degree and several other food related qualifications. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (FIFST) and a Chartered Scientist (CSci). Michael holds a diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors.

In his spare time he enjoys sailing, hill walking, good food and drink. He was a member of the Steering Committee of Fareshare Island of Ireland and was a Chairman of PHAB.


Arthur Richmond, Group Finance Director, SHS Group

Arthur Richmond

Arthur Richmond is Group Finance Director for the SHS Group. Founded in 1975, the SHS Group is a major player in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector throughout the UK and Ireland. With a turnover of £370 million and over 750 employees the Group is regularly listed as one of the top ten most profitable companies in Northern Ireland. Headquartered in Belfast, the Group provides a strong financial base and central resources for 10 autonomous businesses spanning four divisions: Drinks, Condiments & Sauces, Sales & Marketing GB & Ireland and Corporate Services.

Arthur has been with SHS Group in various roles since 1996 and is currently responsible for the Corporate Services Division based in Belfast which employs around 150 professionals in the areas of finance, finance shared services, customer services, logistics, IS/IT, procurement, corporate marketing and quality assurance. His role also includes a significant involvement with the management and strategy of the other Group Divisions. ​

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