The Meat and Livestock Commission has appointed Nicky O’Reilly as
its head of corporate communications as it seeks to improve public and
government perceptions of the meat industry.
O’Reilly joins from the Country Landowners Association where she was
director of PR and communications. She replaces Christine Murphy who
left last August to spend more time with her family.
The move comes as the MLC steps up its attempts to improve the
reputation of British meat after bad publicity over BSE. It has also
conducted a review of its public affairs account, replacing Westminster
Strategy with Shandwick Consultants.
O’Reilly’s previous posts should prepare her for the task she faces at
the MLC. She addressed issues including BSE, use of pesticides and
common agricultural policy at the CLA.
She also headed the public relations department of P&O European Ferries
following the Zeebrugge disaster and the Food and Drink Federation after
Edwina Currie’s salmonella remarks.
’I’m used to working on image recovery and turning around people’s
negative perceptions,’ said O’Reilly.
O’Reilly expects to adopt a more proactive approach to issues such as
BSE: ’I’ll be joining a very strong team with access to the best
The Meat and Livestock Commission has done substantial work but more can
be done,’ she said.
Colin Maclean, the MLC’s director general, said: ’Nicky O’Reilly is well
aware of the challenges and issues which face our industry.’
The Meat and Livestock Commission is currently facing a range of
difficult issues including falling consumption of red meat. However, it
is attempting to turn public perceptions around by focusing upon the
increased safety standards applied to British meat.