New Members Appointed to UK Agriculture Board

UK - The Government has appointed three new members to the Board of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) with effect from 1 October 2014. Applications are invited for another four Board Member positions.
calendar icon 10 October 2014
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Gwyn Jones and Gary Taylor, in addition to their corporate Board role, will also chair AHDB’s DairyCo sector board and HDC sector board respectively; Professor Ian Crute has been appointed as an independent with science expertise to help inform the Board’s decisions on research and knowledge exchange.

They replace Tim Bennett (dairy) who finished on 30 March 2014; Neil Bragg (horticulture) and Lorraine Clinton (independent) who both finished on 30 September 2014.

AHDB Chairman Peter Kendall said: “I’m delighted to welcome these three to the AHDB Board – they are each experts in their field and also share my passion for our farming and food industry.

“I look forward to working with them on how AHDB provides farmers and growers with the tools to make the most of growing domestic and global demand.”

The appointments have been made jointly by Ministers in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland.

Gwyn Jones said: “This is an exciting time for UK agriculture, with opportunities for forward thinking businesses. AHDB has a vital role to play and I’m thrilled to be involved.”

Gary Taylor said: “I look forward to helping to steer and shape the work of this important levy board so it continues to deliver real benefit for levy payers and the wider industry.”

Ian Crute said: “After five fulfilling years as AHDB’s chief scientist I am more convinced than ever that the functions the levy board undertakes are an essential contribution to ensuring we have an innovative and competitive food and farming industry in the UK. I am looking forward enormously to continuing my involvement with AHDB in this new role.”

Peter Kendall commented: “I would like to thank Lorraine, Neil, and Tim profusely for the work they have carried out on behalf of AHDB.”

Gwyn Jones is a dairy farmer and has been farming in West Sussex for over 30 years, running a 350 cow herd, with a 1.5-megawatt anaerobic digester integrated in the farm business. A Nuffield Scholar and Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, Mr Jones also has a long history as an active member of the NFU holding National Office for several years as the NFU National Dairy Board chairman and then Vice President.

Mr Jones was born into a farming family in North Wales and trained as an engineer before returning to agriculture in Wales. He ran the beef and sheep units at Moulton College of Agriculture, before moving to West Sussex.

He is Chairman of RUMA (Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture), Chairman of EPRUMA (The European equivalent of RUMA), an active member of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), Vice Chairman of the COPA-Cogeca Animal Health and Welfare Working Group, member of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) Welfare and Ethics Group, and a member of the University of Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine’s External Liaison and Advisory Committee.

Gary Taylor MBE has worked in the fresh produce industry for over 40 years. He started as a seasonal worker and worked his way up in the industry. He moved to Valley Grown Salads (VGS) in Essex in 2000 where he was instrumental in rebuilding the nursery to its current success.

During the last 14 years, he has also been heavily involved in supporting and developing the wider industry. He has served on a number of boards and committees including as Vice Chair of the NFU Board for Horticulture, Chairman of the East Anglian Horticulture Board and Chairman of the Red Tractor Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for horticulture and as a member of the AHDB’s horticulture sector board (HDC).

Mr Taylor is the founder and current Chairman of the PTG (pepper technology group) and Chairman of the LVGA (Lee Valley Grower Association). In 2013 he was awarded an MBE for services to the pepper industry.

Professor Ian Crute CBE has had a 40-year career in crop research and was until recently the Chief Scientist of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

His professional expertise is in plant pathology and genetics with a particular interest in the sustainability of agricultural systems. Prior to joining AHDB in 2009, Professor Crute held the post of Institute Director at Rothamsted Research for 10 years. This followed 25 years in Horticulture Research International as a Research Leader in plant pathology, Head of Department and Director at the organisation’s Wellesbourne laboratory.

Professor Crute’s scientific contributions are recorded in over 170 publications and his work has been recognised by several awards including a CBE for services to plant science.

He was a member of the Lead Expert Group for the ‘Global Future of Food and Farming’ Foresight project and currently serves on several Boards and Committees connected with science and innovation within the UK agri-food sector. These include the Leadership Council for the implementation of the ‘UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies’.

The Government has initiated the search for the next four AHDB Board Members to fill posts which will become vacant at the end of March 2015 [click on the links below for further details]:

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