Changing Environmental Policy & Impacts on Fruit Growers

1st November 2023 | 2.00pm

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The National Fruit Show x RED Talk Conference Session

Rural Policy Group has been invited to host the afternoon session of the National Fruit Show Conference for the third consecutive year. Building on a reputation for hard hitting debates with stellar panels, we will be bringing together a line-up of fruit industry professionals to debate the government’s most recent announcements on environmental policy and what they mean for fruit businesses. We discuss what the new stance on nutrient neutrality, biodiversity net gain (BNG) and net zero means for landowners, among other business critical changes to the UK’s green strategy. 

With an opportunity to put questions to the panel about the issues which loom large in your business or farm.

The National Fruit Show Location

Kent Showground, Detling, Maidstone ME14 3JF 

Driving: just off the M20. Take junction 7 onto the A249 heading towards Sittingbourne.

Train: the nearest stations are Sittingbourne and Maidstone East 


The Speakers

Nigel Barden

Nigel Barden

Food and Drink Broadcaster

Nigel Barden is a food and drink broadcaster and champion, with over 30 years of foodie knowledge, experience and tastings under his scrawny belt. He has combined a long career at BBC Radio with numerous TV appearances, hosting at live consumer events and food festivals, judging awards and also as a restaurant critic and sought-after food and drink industry compère. Nigel’s mantra is about good taste, provenance and craftsmanship. Not a chef, but a down to earth cook and pundit with an eye on seasonality and quality ingredients, Nigel cares above all about what people really want to put on their tables and in their bellies. He grew up on a farm, worked as a land agent in Yorkshire and is a former wine merchant. Nigel brings experience, fun, banter and impartial recommendations of the best food and drink happenings in the United Kingdom and beyond. 

Natalie Bennett, Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle

Natalie Bennett, Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle

Green Party Peer, House of Lords

Natalie, also known Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, migrated to the UK in 1999 after obtaining a degree in agricultural science from the University of Sydney and working on farms in Australia. She spent two years in Bangkok working with the National Commission on Women’s Affairs, on its report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. She also worked as a consultant with the International Labor Organisation (ILO) on child labour issues and World Health Organization (WHO) on women’s health. She’s a champion of the universal basic income, and is particularly interested in food security and farming issues, and supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She was leader of the Green Party of England and Wales from 2012-2016 and is a member of the board of the European Green Foundation.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor ACA MSc

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor ACA MSc

Partner, MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Mark is a Chartered Accountant and corporate financier with special interests in food & farming, rural business, ESG and a belief that business must be underpinned by sustainable finance. He established Rural Policy Group in 2019 following 16 years in the rural economy working with both public and private sector businesses. Mark has won numerous awards for his work including Finance Director of the Year 2007, Accounting for Sustainability 2012 (ICEAW), National Business Finance Director 2014 (Finance Director) and the Institute of Directors Blue Ribbon award for Governance and Finance Excellence in 2018.

Mark is a member of the ICAEW Farming and Rural Business Committee and a CBI Southeast Councillor. 

Stuart Nicholls

Stuart Nicholls

Associate Director, Food & Farming

Stuart has been working for Savills since 2014, specialising in farm and rural business consultancy and management.

Stuart is from a family farm in south Buckinghamshire and graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2010 with an honours degree in agriculture. He has worked on farms and estates across the UK in both practical and advisory roles and he now covers the south east of England.

Catherine Lloyd

Catherine Lloyd

Partner and Under Sheriff of Kent

Catherine has advised her clients on all aspects of multi-million pound freehold acquisitions and disposals, pursuant to both conditional and unconditional contracts, often involving complex overage provisions.

Catherine started her career at Slaughter and May in the City, where she worked on a number of high profile deals. After deciding she wanted to focus on more pure commercial property work rather than M&A transactions, she moved to Eversheds’ London office. A few years later, when moving out to Kent and starting her family, Catherine went to work for Kent County Council. She worked there for over seven years, heading up the in-house Property Legal Team as the Council’s most senior property lawyer, for the last four years. With all the changes in local government, Catherine decided it was the right time to return to private practice and is delighted to be part of the team at Gullands.

Related RED Talks

A Sustainable Rural Economy

EV in Food & Farming

ELM & Commercial Opportunities

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