Rob is a member of Moss Brook Growers, growing on 21 acres in Greater Manchester for the last 4 years, and is also a director of Manchester Veg People. Before that he was a fruit & veg buyer for Unicorn Grocery.
Following her degree, Anna spent nine years as a farm man-ager, primarily working on free range pig units. The manage-ment role involved overseeing and integrating other farm enterprises such as beef, sheep and cropping into the whole farm system. Following that she spent four years working in an advisory role with the Soil Association managing the technical advisory team for the food and farming department. Anna now works as a consultant, specialising in high welfare livestock management. She still has strong links with the Soil Association but recently much of her work has been carried out in the US, initially for the American retailer Whole Foods Market Inc. and now for the American group Animal Welfare Approved, rolling out a high welfare farm assurance program across the US. Anna was introduced to the Pasture Fed Livestock Association through her work in the US with the Ameri-can Grassfed Association and has been a director of PFLA since 2012.
Recently employed as the Farm Business Advisor for the Soil Association, Tim’s main role has been to produce a report comparing the economics of organic and non-organic farming and promoting this work to a wide farming audience. Other work is to provide advice and support to organic farmers and to organise Field Labs supporting farmers in their own trial work. Tim’s interests include how farming systems can influence biodiversity.
Martyn runs Shillingford Organics which is based on the family farm near Exeter. He grows a whole variety of organic veg-etables, salads and herbs for year round production on 45 acres. Their aim is to always sell their produce locally and as fresh as possible. They sell through their own award-winning box scheme, farmers markets and local shops.
Peter Brown has farmed biodynamically since he was 21, first on a farm near Cape Town in South Africa for 15 years, then in Germany for 3 years before moving to Tablehurst Farm in Sussex in 1994. In 1996 Tablehurst became one of the first CSA’s in the country, a mixed biodynamic farm of 500 acres with a farm shop, which includes 4 apprentices and 3 adults with learning disabilities as part of the team.
Ian Cairns has worked with farmers and crofters advising on rush management and control strategies over the past 17 years. As an SAC Consultant based in the highlands and Is-lands, Ian produced land improvement and rush control programmes with land managers and saw the success and limitations of different approaches. In recent years, Ian has delivered a number of on-farm rush management workshops across the north of England in partnership with the Farmer Network, Myerscough College and Eblex. He worked as a partner with ORC on delivery of the Organic Conversion Information Service (OCIS) until it closed in 2010.
Kate Collyns left her office job, in publishing, in 2008 to join the Soil Association Apprenticeship Scheme; based at Purton House Organics, the placement meant working on everything from weeding, planting and cultivating to veg box packing and marketing. She started her own sustainable market garden business in 2010, Grown Green @ Hartley Farm, between Bath and Bradford on Avon; and in 2013 published Growing For Profit: From Home Plot to Market Garden (Green Books), to help other aspiring growers start their own business.
Julia Cooper is a Lecturer in Soil Science at Newcastle Univer-sity and an active member of the Nafferton Ecological Farming Group. Her main areas of research interest are soil C and N cycling in agroecosytems, with particular emphasis on design of farming systems for maximum nitrogen efficiency. She is coordinator of the EU FP7 NUE-CROPS project and an active participant in both CORE ORGANIC II projects: TILMAN-ORG and IMPROVE-P.
Finn has worked within the UK Food and farming sector for more than 25 years and has extensive experience of market-ing, business development, buying and innovation within two of the UK’s major supermarket groups: she held senior buying positions at both Sainsburys and Somerfield. She has also held positions on the board of two UK companies supplying food into retail and been actively involved in the launch of a number of fresh foods brands. Finn now spends her time as a trade consultant giving strategic advice to many smaller brands that supply into UK retail markets: during the last 4 years, she has carried out a lot of work within the UK organic industry working with the Soil Association and organic companies and retailers to drive growth in the market.
Henry Creissen joined ORC in October this year as a research-er in the Crops and Agroforestry team based at Wakelyns Agroforestry. Henry recently completed a PhD at the John Innes Centre on ‘The role of genotypic diversity in stabilising plant productivity in variable environments’. His research interests are focused on the use of agro-ecosystem ap-proaches to modernise arable farming through the application of ecological principles in an agricultural setting. Since arriving at ORC Henry has taken on the role of deputy-coordinator of the Core Organic II project COBRA which aims to coordinate organic plant breeding across Europe.
Simon Cutter is the founder of Model Farm Society. Educated at Cirencester Agricultural College between 1977-1980, Simon has studied and practiced traditional farming for over 20 years including time spent farming in Australia. Simon was a pioneer in the rearing of organic livestock and produce and is currently farming around 700 acres supporting 110 Hereford Sucklers, 400 easy care ewes, 50 Vendeen ewes and 6 Hampshire sows. Simon is an approved Pasture Fed Livestock Association supplier. Most produce is retailed from the farm.
Keri is an organic beef and sheep farmer from near Brecon in south Powys. He has been actively involved in developing policy in Wales and has taken on a wide range of roles responsibilities including membership of the Glastir Review Panel, the Organic Group of Wales and has participated in the Farming Connect Rural Leadership Programme. He is currently chairman of the records sub-group for the working smarter red tape review.
Ross currently live on his family farm in Stowmarket, Suffolk. He has worked within agriculture since leaving University, and has been with GB Seeds (Agrii) for over 2 years. His role as seed manager at G B Seeds is to look after commercial cereal, oilseed and pulse seed sales as well as managing all aspects of the naked oat crop and the buyback contracts.
Peter is the grower and part director at Hankham Organics in East Sussex. After taking a degree in Environmental Science in 1996 he realised that sustainable production of healthy food is probably the most important challenge we face and has been trying to walk the talk ever since. He is on the committee of the Organic Growers Alliance.
Tim Downes is partner on a family organic dairy beef and arable farm in Shropshire. Tim has been managing the farm throughout its organic production with wife Louise and par-ents who run the beef enterprise. Tim has an involvement with R&D through sitting on DairyCo’s research board. Board and technical commitee member of OMSCo and also involved with Harper Adams university as professional adviser to the Agricultural courses.
John is the assistant grower at The Community Farm CSA, a community-owned, 30 acre market garden at Chew Magna in Somerset. The farm supplies veg boxes and wholesale in the Bristol and Bath area. A new entrant to farming, John has been involved with the project since it started in 2010 and he completed the Soil Association Organic Horticultural Apprenticeship there in 2013.
Senior Research & Knowledge Transfer Manager, AHDB-HGCA. Vicky studied in Applied Biology (BSc Hons) at Not-tingham Trent University, where she specialised in plant & environmental science and spent a year working for British Sugar for her industrial placement. Vicky undertook a PhD at Rothamsted Research in plant pathology in 1997. Her PhD focussed on the life cycle and control of ergot in cereal crops. Whilst writing up her PhD Vicky undertook a number of short-term post-doctoral research contracts spanning a variety of other areas including nematology and barley viruses. Vicky joined HGCA as a Research Manager in February 2003. She was initially involved in managing research projects within the area of plant pathology but this quickly grew to managing projects in a wide variety of other areas including weed and pest management. She was promoted to the Senior Research Manager for HGCA in 2007 and is responsible for commissioning of new projects, and developing future crop research strategies for cereals and oilseeds. She liaises regularly with growers, researchers and other potential co-funders to ensure HGCA is delivering the best value for levy payers whilst avoiding unnecessary duplication.
Working as part of the crops research team at ORC Nick has an academic background in ecology and conservation as well as practical experience carrying out agronomic field trials in both conventional and organic systems on a range of arable crops. Based at Wakelyns Agroforestry in Suffolk for the last two years Nick’s work focuses on projects enhancing and employing diversity within and between crops in organic systems.
Kate has been involved in knowledge exchange within and between the organic and conventional farming sectors in Cumbria for 25 years. She has organised a number of work-shops on demand from low-input farmers on the topic of rush control over the past 18 months.
Charles Godfray is Hope Professor at the University of Oxford where he directs the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food and is a Fellow of the Royal Society. He chaired the Lead Expert Group of the UK Government’s Foresight Project on the Future of Food and Farming and currently chairs the Duchy Organic Future Farming Science Advisory Committee for the Soil Association.
Edward Goff has 30 years’ experience of running an organic dairy farm in Shropshire, with 80 NZ friesians. He has worked as a part time organic adviser, hosted farm walks, written for national organic and dairy journals and contributed to re-search projects over many years.
Christine, with her husband and son, manages a fourth generation family farm with 170 Guernsey cows, including fol-lowers. They have their own processing dairy and supply milk, butter and cream goes to Abel and Cole for their organic box deliveries, cream goes to Marshfield ice cream, and butter goes to Neal’s Yard Dairy in Covent Garden. They also supply local shops and restaurants. Farmed organically since 1998.
Jon Halle has worked at the heart of community renewables for the last 10 years, notably with Goldenfuels and Energy4All, before co-founding Sharenergy in 2011. Sharenergy is a co-op which helps people set up renewable energy co-ops and is currently supporting co-op share offers for wind, hydro, solar and biomass projects across the UK.
Rachel Harries is a project co-ordinator at the Soil Association. She currently runs the Future Growers scheme and has just established a national network for community supported agriculture groups. She is also a director of the Biodynamic Land Trust and recently joined Sustain’s council. Rachel’s interests lie in providing training opportunities for new and existing farmers and growers and exploring issues around access to land and entry routes into farming.
Dianne and Eric Horn keep pedigree Ayrshires on a marginal dairy farm on Hadrian’s Wall, where they make Birdoswald cheese by hand to sell at Farmer’s Markets and run a café and bunk-barn.
William Hudson is an agro-preneur who seeks innovative so-lutions to both technical and market blockages in the organic and agro-environmental farming sectors. Through his work William is seeking a “better normal”.
Phil Jones is a hill farmer from Carmarthenshire, producing mainly store cattle. He has been organic for 8 years and is the Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the year 2013.
Nic is Director of The Organic Research Centre and has been involved in organic farming research since the 1990s, with a particular focus on economic and policy issues. He is author of Organic Farming, co-editor of the Organic Farm Management Handbook, and more recently has led the development of a tool box for the evaluation of organic farming action plans. He is the organic sector representative on the Defra Agri-environment Stakeholders Group and a permanent member of the EU Expert Group for Technical Advice on Organic Production (EGTOP), currently advising Welsh and English governments and the IFOAM EU Group on issues relating to organic farming support under the new CAP/RDP.
Tim studied at Harper Adams and Shuttleworth Agriculture Colleges, practical livestock production experience running both a 60 cow suckler herd and a 600 ewe sheep flock before expanding his livestock experience in both Australia and New Zealand for 18 months. Tim then went on to work as Livestock Area Manager for Eastern Counties Farmers before moving to Anglia Quality Meat Association (AQM) in 1991. AQM took on the contract to market organic cattle and sheep for The Organic Livestock Marketing Cooperative (OLMC) some 10 years ago, with the knowledge gained in the Livestock Cooperative sector over the years this has helped in the day to day running of OLMC, firming up supply chains and enhancing producer support
Sue was appointed Sainsbury’s Head of Agriculture in January 2013 and is excited to lead her team at such an important stage of agricultural development at Sainsbury’s; as the com-pany forges closer relationships with its farmers and growers and works towards achieving its 2020 sustainability commit-ments. Sue has worked for Sainsbury’s for 21 years and during this time has enjoyed various roles in product technology, regional sourcing, innovation and sustainability; where she was instrumental in Sainsbury’s commitment to stop selling caged eggs and ensuring that animal health, husbandry and welfare are at the heart of Sainsbury’s sourcing policies. Im-mediately prior to her role as Head of Agriculture, Sue lead the meat, fish and poultry technical team, where she was accountable for the quality, safety and integrity of all Sains-bury’s meat, fish and poultry. Prior to working at Sainsbury’s, Sue was Technical Manager of Taw Valley Creamery in Devon and graduated from The University of Strathclyde with a BSc Hons in Food Science.
Dr Fiona Lovatt worked in practice as a farm vet for 17 years before setting up Flock Health Ltd, a sheep veterinary consul-tancy. She is a part time clinical associate professor in sheep production medicine at the University of Nottingham and the current president of the Sheep Veterinary Society.
Tony Little has been at Organic Centre Wales for 12 years, working on knowledge exchange projects for organic producers and more latterly supporting and developing organic sup-ply chains in Wales. He is a keen, if amateur, fruit and vege-table grower and helps out on an organic upland sheep farm.
Mark is an independent organic agriculture consultant spe-cialising in advice and training in farm business management, husbandry, conversion planning and organic systems devel-opment. He also works with ORC where he is Director of Insti-tute of Organic Training and Advice (IOTA) providing training, information and accreditation to advisers throughout the UK and Ireland, he is joint editor of the biannual Organic Farm Management Handbook and provides input into the ORC research and dissemination programme. Mark has 25 years of organic farming experience; he established the Organic Advisory Service (OAS) in 1985 and headed it for 15 years and initiated and coordinated the establishment of the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative. He has extensive knowledge of all aspects of organic production and its markets, research and standards development. He has travelled widely and has experience of organic extension throughout the world. He is a partner in a mixed organic farm in Shropshire.
Bo Melander is Associate Professor at Aarhus University with interests in combining direct physical methods with preventive and cultural weed control tactics to obtain optimal weed control strategies for individual crops. He is also Chair of the European working group Physical and Cultural Weed Control organised under the European Weed Research Society.
Jochen has been involved with organic farming and agronomy for over 25 years in Switzerland. He is a senior scientist at Agroscope, Institute for Sustainability Sciences (ISS), Zurich. He has been responsible for the DOK long term experiment at Agroscope (in collaboration with FiBL) and the Zurich Organic Fertilisation Experiment since 2007. His main areas of work are on nutrient flows in organic farming, soil-root interactions (below ground C&N), plant nutrition, soil organic matter dynamics, cropping system performance and soil quality.
Dafydd is a farmers’ son from mid-Wales and took over the 100 acre family farm four years ago. He runs 150 ewes organically and is also in Glastir entry and advanced level. He’s an evening and weekend farmer and his day job is as Project Officer for the Better Organic Business Links project with Organic Centre Wales. His previous employment include three years as a VSO in West Nepal, 15 years working with the NFU in Wales and HQ during which his jobs ranged from Pigs Advisor to IT Manager and five years with a communications company based in Aberystwyth.
Susanne is principal researcher and team leader for livestock, socio-economics and sustainability assessment at The Organic Research Centre, covering projects related to organic milk production, standards, market data and consumer attitude, policy support, profitability and sustainability. Susanne has been involved with organic farming since the early 80s. After working in advice for organic farmers in North Germany, she worked as a researcher at Aberystwyth University, joining ORC in 2009. Susanne holds a degree in general agriculture from the Uni. Kassel, Witzenhausen and a PhD in agricultural economics from Aberystwyth University on conversion to organic dairying.
John farms 1,700 acres, a predominantly stockless organic system south of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk and is a fourth generation farmer. He also contract farms a further 830 acres for 4 other organic farmers locally. John is a former Chairman of Suffolk’s FWAG, a member of the NFU’s Organic Issues group, a member of the IFOAM UK group and is currently Chair and a Director of Organic Arable.
Bruce joined The Organic Research Centre in 1999 and has undertaken a number of roles and is currently Deputy Direc-tor. He is responsible for overseeing the research and information programmes, contracts and personnel of the organisation. His research activities have covered a wide range of areas include seed and variety rights, monogastric feed and production, farming sustainability assessment, implications of GM and participatory research methods. Prior to joining The Organic Research Centre he was part of MAFF’s Chief Scien-tists Group and worked for the Consumers Association’s Gardening Which? Magazine. He has a degree in Biological Sciences and PhD in Horticulture.
Simon has over 15 years’ experience as a technical manager in the agri-food supply chain. He has worked in plant breeding and food manufacturing. In his current role, he is interested in the quality and safety of cereals and cereal-based food products, as well as promoting the health benefits of cereal-based foods.
Ben has been working in horticulture for 20 years. He is currently Head of Horticulture at the Soil Association and also works freelance as a horticultural advisor. Recent projects include work for The Community Farm near Bristol and Car-bon Gold. Ben has a wide range of experience working with growers at all levels of production. His own experience includes; running a walled garden in Sussex supplying a Michel-in starred restaurant, working for Garden Organic at their gardens in Kent. Ben also set up and ran the 10 acre horticultural production at Daylesford organic Farm, before moving to the Welsh College of Horticulture as commercial manager. He has also just finished writing “Compost; a Family Guide” a fun interactive book aimed at 4-8 year olds due out in March.
Pete Ritchie is director of Nourish Scotland, a non-profit or-ganisation working for a fairer and more sustainable food system in Scotland. He also, with his wife and partner Heather Anderson, runs Whitmuir the Organic Place at Lamancha, about 16 miles south of Edinburgh on the edge of the Scottish Borders. As first generation farmers, they have built up the business over the last six years to become a hub of economic and community activity, with 250 farm supporters, 80 growing plots for local families, five small businesses on site in addition to the farm shop, restaurant and butchery.
Debs has been an organic farmer in Perthshire for 15 years, growing cereals and supporting 65 suckler cows and follow-ers. Director of Caledonian Organics, organic red meat procurement co-operative. SOPA Development Manager responsible for member support, communications and representing SOPA in the wider industry.Organic stakeholder representative in Scottish Government CAP Reform discussions. Recently co-opted to SOPA board. SOPA is a non-trading organic co-operative established in 1988. All SOPA members are certified by SFQC to SOPA-owned organic standards.
Dr Stephen Roderick has been involved in organic farming research and development for the last 18 years and for the last 12 years he has been based at Duchy College where he has specialised in knowledge exchange and participatory re-search. Amongst other activities, he is currently manager of the RDPE-funded SWARM Hub project, providing knowledge support to farmers on agricultural resource management.
Gunnar has worked with most parts of the organic farming sector – from farming to policy – since 1977, starting on the pioneer organic farm, Torfolk. Founder and Senior Consultant of Grolink AB. IFOAM World Board member 1998 and IFOAM President 2000-2005. Founding board member of the ISEAL-alliance. In 2010, he published a book about the major social and environmental challenges of our world. Rundgren was awarded an honorary doctorate in science at the Uganda Martyrs University 2009, and was the same year appointed member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. He blogs on Garden Earth.
Ulrich is an agricultural economist and specialist in organic horticulture and agriculture. He has many years’ experience in both academic research and working within the organic industry. Ulrich’s current research comprises of a variety of projects on farm, environmental and social economics. Ulrich has worked at Garden Organic’s research site for the last 10 years, but also at ORC Elm Farm and the University of Bolza-no/Italy. He is a senior research fellow at Coventry University and an accredited UK/EU organic farm inspector.
Alan has been an organic vegetable grower since 1982 start-ing off as a share farmer with a local tomato grower. Since 1992 he has been running Growing with Nature in Lancashire along with wife Debra and son Christopher, working closely with 4 other organic growers, distributing organically grown vegetables and salads into the local area. He has been in-volved with the Soil Association for over 20 years and for 12 years was the chair of the Horticultural Standards Committee and for 3 years had a seat on the Standards Board. Alan was on the UKROFS technical committee for 5 years and for the last 6 years has been the Chairman of the Organic Growers Alliance. He worked as a horticultural advisor for the last 20 years and has been instrumental in setting up a growers group on the Isle of Man and establishing a series of Farmers Markets under the Manx Local Organic brand. Alan is passionate about local horticultural production and is keen to ensure that the new generation of market gardeners have access to the experience that they have gained.
Daniel has worked on the farm at Holme Lacy college for 20 years and has been farm manager for 18 years. He has kept detailed records for certification and good practice demonstration purposes for the students – as well as to see if the anecdotal evidence about P and K indices dropping would be true for this mixed farming system, based on clay soils. He has worked closely with adviser Mark Measures on planning rotations and the best use of manures to manage fertility.
Wendy has been an organic grower since 2005 and runs a small veg business on her Aberdeenshire Farm. Wendy is also the research leader for the Organic Growers Alliance and sits on the Scottish Organic Forum. She has been runner up in the BBC Food and Farming “Farmer of the Year” awards, and has been featured in the BBC Great British menu (or rather her carrots have!). Prior to becoming a grower, Wendy spent 11 years as a researcher and lecturer in Plant Sciences at the University of Aberdeen, but has never found anything more challenging than growing veg!
Andrew is a member of Devon Hedge Group with legal and community engagement skills, who led the community events and edited the Community Woodfuel Toolkit. He is an environmentalist with a particular interest in developing the small scale woodfuel economy to support jobs, farmers and the traditional landscape.
Dr Philip Skuce gained his PhD in Parasitology at Queen’s University Belfast in 1988, following which he undertook re-search in parasitology at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast and the Veterinary Sciences Division, Stormont, before joining Moredun in 1995. His research interests are focused on the sustainable control of helminth parasites (‘worms’) in sheep & cattle, through improved diagnosis and detection of anthelmintic resistance.
Jo studied for an MSc in Biodiversity and Taxonomy at the Natural History Museum and Imperial College and for her dissertation compared soil macrofaunal communities in or-ganic and non-organic gardens. She went on to complete a PhD on assessing the value of agri-environment schemes for soil biota with the Centre for Agri-Environment Research at the University of Reading, joint with the Soil Biodiversity group at the Natural History Museum. She has been working at The Organic Research Centre since June 2009. As Senior Agroecology researcher, Jo is responsible for the agroforestry programme, and is working on a range of projects investigating the value of agroforestry as a way of reconciling production with protection of the environment.
Bethan is ecology and horticulture lecturer at Schu-macher College, an international sustainability college in Devon. Bethan was appointed to establish the college’s horti-culture programme in 2009, which has grown to include an MSc, vocational courses and apprenticeships, based around the college’s ‘edible campus.’ Prior to this Bethan was a community scientist for the national bio monitoring project OPAL and continues to collaborate with Plymouth University on research in botanical education.
Phil is the Chief Executive for the National Sheep Association, the UK’s specialist membership organisation for those interested in sheep and sheep farming. Phil took up this role in 2011 having spent well over 20 years in practical farming and farm management, followed by 15 years leading the Soil Associations support for its farmer and growers members. Phil is keen to see the efficient production of healthy sheep, incentivised through strong markets, and central to attractive and healthy environments and rural communities.
Phil is an organic grower, researcher and IOTA accredited advisor. He grew up on a farm in Somerset before studying Rural Environment Studies at Wye College. After working on various organic farms he was the organic grower at Radford Mill Farm in Somerset between 1989 and 1996 and then spent 2 years on VSO in Lao PDR. He worked in the research department at Garden Organic from 1999 (then HDRA) until 2013. In May 2013 he joined the ORC as Research Communications Officer. Phil has also been an OCIS adviser with the Organic Advisory Service, a mentor to CSA growers and has converted a walled kitchen garden at Cotesbach, where he grew organic vegetables for 10 years. He is on the committee of the Organic Growers Alliance and is editor of The Organic Grower. He has contributed to a number of books including Organic Vegetable Production – a complete guide and Pest and Disease Management.
Kevin and Kate Thomas run a 70 acre organic holding joining the Epynt mountain between Brecon and Sennybridge. They run a 20 head herd of pedigree Welsh Black cattle and 110 breeding ewes made up of Beulah Speckleface and Texel crosses. The farm lies over red sandstone rock rising from 800 to 1100ft with rainfall in excess of 70 inches. The farm has been run as an organic unit for 14 years while being within a Tir Gofal environmental scheme and more latterly within Glastir. Kevin and Kate are Reading agricultural graduates and both worked with large scale fruit and vegetable produc-ers/packers in East Anglia and Kent before moving back to Wales in 1993. They have four children. Off farm Kevin has previously been employed in a number of agricultural and environmental roles with the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Welsh Government and the Welsh College of Hor-ticulture. He is currently Wales Director of Lantra, the Sector Skills Council for the Environmental and Land-based sector.
David Tisdall is a Clinical teaching fellow in farm animal science at the University of Bristol and the clinical lead of Langford Farm Animal Practice. He has particular interests in the management and prevention of production diseases in dairy cattle and the responsible use of medicines in farm animals; namely, the use of medicines audits as an integrated part of active herd health management and practice level clinical governance. He has a research interest in the early detection and treatment of lameness and holds the RCVS certificate in cattle health and production.
Iain has been an organic producer since 1976 operating a 200+ per week box scheme using 90% own produce from 75 different crops on 17 acres of land at Hardwick Estate in south Oxfordshire. The farm was the first to attain the Organic Stockfree symbol in 2004, with no grazing animals and no animal inputs to any part of the farm for the past 20 years. Iain is well known within the organic movement having been active for over 30 years. He also works part time as an advisor for many horticultural farms nationally and internationally, various organic organisations delivering seminars and con-ducting farm walks. He carries out some voluntary work overseas as well as being the Chairman of Thames Organic Growers. He is considered to be a leading expert on stock-free organic horticulture, and low carbon local vegetable production systems. The farm is a working example of agroecology in action that has been developing over a long period of time and displays a high level of self-sufficiency whilst maintaining close links with the local community.
Tom started to go organic in 1997 on the 90 acre family farm, the same year as he started to work in the nutrition business. Eight years ago Tom set up as independent consultant and became part of the Farm Consultancy Group five years ago. In 2009 Tom took on a 440 acre farm in his own right and converted it to organic production. Tom currently farms 560 acres of arable and grass land with 180 acres of permanent grass land and 360 acres in rotation. He has a 75 cow suckler herd with all animals finished off the farm on mainly grass diets and out wintered. There are 80 acres of complex herbal leys and the arable crops grown include wheat, barley, triticale and fodder beet. Tom also finishes 60 head per year of dairy beef on a pay as you grow type business.
Mike’s early career was in commercial horticulture, before moving in to Forestry. He has worked in both the private sector in commercial forestry, as well as the voluntary sector in the UK and in Kenya. For the last 17 years he has worked for the Woodland Trust, initially as Operations Director, and then Chief Executive. Following a break he is now a Senior Advisor in the Trust’s conservation team. He is also a Fellow at the Institute of Chartered Foresters, and holds a degree in Forestry and a Masters degree in Environmental policy. He was awarded the OBE in 2003 for services to forestry.
Andrew runs the farmer-controlled grain marketing business Organic Arable -the only dedicated organic grain business in the UK. As well as providing marketing services Organic Arable also provides technical support and market development for the organic sector. Andrew has been working for Organic Arable for 8 years and has held various roles within the organic sector providing primarily marketing but also technical advice.
Having joined Pearce Seeds 1986 Ken Tuffin took over the reins following the retirement of Mike Pearce. Since then Ken has been fundamental in developing the business from a grass seed supplier to a major seed and inputs supplier throughout the South West. A lot of this development has been based upon the fundamental knowledge the company derives from its extensive trials programme. Ken has now trying to take something of a backseat but is still actively involved in the Pearce Seeds and his farm.
Anja is Crops and Policy Researcher at the Organic Research Centre. With a background in horticulture, specialised in veg-etable production, she has several years of experience in horticultural research in Switzerland. Since 2011 at ORC, she is now working on various research projects in areas like health concepts in agricultural systems, organic greenhouse horticulture, the Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme and the evaluation of the EU legislation for organic farming.
Stuart having qualified as a Land Agent in 1989 began auc-tioneering of calves in 1990 and later started ‘electronic mar-keting of livestock’ in 1991. In 1995 he became a Director at Alder King, Chippenham Market before the disasters of BSE and Foot and Mouth bestowed upon the livestock industry. In 2002 he joined Meadow Quality Ltd., marketing all types of livestock from farm to abattoir covering the South-West re-gion. In 2012 Graig Producers Ltd., merged with Meadow Quality to provide an ‘on farm’ service for their organic producers offering their members a complete marketing service of all types of animals.
Sally joined the Organic Research Centre in February 2013 and works within the Agroforestry and Crops team on a project looking at hedgerow management for woodfuel and short chain energy systms. She is also involved in farm trials of cover crops and conservation agriculture techniques. Sally’s background is in plant ecology, land management and horticulture, she previously worked on an Organic Market Garden in Manchester and completed a MRes in Ecology and Environmental Management at the University of York.
Gillian has worked for over 25 years in the area of food production regulations and policy, both with UK and Irish government agencies and private companies.
Tom Willoughby has been involved in the management of 3 organic dairy farms, including the Ty Gwyn organic research farm at Aberystwyth. He and his wife are currently tenant farmers in Leicestershire.
Lawrence, OBE has been at the forefront of developments in organic agriculture in the UK for over 30 years. He has also played a prominent role in its development in the EU and internationally. He was a co-founder of The Organic Research Centre and its director and currently acts as its Principal Poli-cy Adviser. Amongst many positions he has been President of IFOAM; was for 15 years a member of the UKROFS Board during the critical period of standards development and served on the Soil Association Council. He was the founding chairman of OMSCo and sits on the Board of Organic Arable. He is co-ordinator of Citizens Concerned About GM (GM Education), he advises Homeopathy at Welly Level (HAWL) and is working on projects about food quality and health (Whole Organic Plus).
Richard Young is Policy Director of the Sustainable Food Trust and an adviser to the Soil Association. He chaired the com-mittee which drew up the first detailed organic livestock standards for the Soil Association in the 1980s and drafted the section on antibiotics. He represented the Soil Association on the UKROFS Producers’ Advisory Committee, which established the first national UK organic standards and he helped to resource organic certification bodies in the UK by successfully securing agreement for annual government funding. He converted to organic production in 1974 and farms 400 in the Cotswolds with his sister Rosamund.