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The trade association for the mineral products sector in Northern Ireland, Quarry Products Association Northern Ireland (QPANI), has taken the decision to change its name to MPA Northern Ireland from 1 January, 2019.

QPANI, which was formed in 1998, has 87 members employing just over 5,000 people contributing almost £700 million (€785.9 million) to the Northern Ireland economy.

It has been an affiliate of the MPA (Mineral Products Association – the trade body for the UK’s aggregates, cement and concrete industries) since 2009 and now, after a full consultation process, the members of the association have given unanimous support and endorsement to rebrand to MPANI.

Gordon Best, director of QPANI, said, “Our move from QPANI to MPANI was endorsed by our members as they believe the time is right to take this important step.

“The reference to minerals in our new title recognises the fact that our membership base is wide and varied across our industry in Northern Ireland, representing the extraction and processing of hard rock, sand, salt, lime and chalk into products that support and sustain our quality of life. Importantly, we are also recognised by government, both locally and centrally, as a minerals sector.”

He said QPANI had an excellent working relationship with the MPA, and all MPA regions across the UK, as well as with the Irish Mining & Quarries Society (IMQS) in the Republic of Ireland.

The MPA’s chief executive, Nigel Jackson, said, “QPANI has been a valued and important member of both QPA and latterly MPA, ensuring that our work is genuinely national, taking account of issues across the UK.”

He said QPANI made an important contribution to the MPA’s policy thinking and was a “professional and energetic association in its own right”.

“We are absolutely delighted that they have decided to adopt the MPA name, which will strengthen the important ties between our two organisations.”

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