Farming for the Environment
2 NOVEMBER 2022
This RED Talk is available exclusively for attendees of the National Fruit Show in Detling, Kent.
RPG convenes a panel of food’s most innovative thinkers to discuss what the future holds for Britain’s farmers, growers and producers as every part of society seeks to become more sustainable. We explore the new technologies that could revolutionise the fruit industry, increase the UK’s self-sufficiency and boost profitability of food businesses, all while protecting the country from climate change and economic shocks.
We also ask how the fruit industry would prepare to take another technological and environmental leap forward and how it can be best supported.
Author, Journalist and Broadcaster
Tom Heap is freelance author and journalist who created and presents BBC Radio’s flagship climate change podcast ’39 Ways to Save the Planet‘ – now also available as a book. He is a regular presenter on BBC1’s Countryfile specialising in the more investigative films and has made many BBC Panorama documentaries on food, energy and the environment. Tom also hosts BBC Radio 4’s regular environment series ‘Costing the Earth’.
Tom started his career as a sound man with Sky News, before working for many years as a producer and reporter for BBC News. He fronted the long running and popular daytime TV series Animal 24:7.
Tom is a fervent supporter and ambassador for the international conservation charity ‘Whitley Fund for Nature’ and a founder of ‘The Western Front Way’ which is creating a path for peace along the whole of what was the Western Front.
Food Systems Campaigner and Green Party Parliamentary Candidate
As The Green Party’s Parliamentary Candidate for Lewes, Emily is vocal on food, agriculture and rural issues and a Councillor at the Cooperative Alliance-led Lewes District Council. She is an expert on food systems and a campaigner on food poverty and food and climate change and works for national charity Food Matters on the Sustainable Food Places programme.
As Lewes’ Cabinet Member for Planning, she led on greening planning policy as a response to the climate and biodiversity emergencies and innovative technical guidance on sustainability, biodiversity net gain and the circular economy.
Clarke Willis MBE FRAgS
Director, Norfolk Food Enterprise Park
Clarke is a Director of the Norfolk Food Enterprise Park which is developing major processing and support facilities for the agrifood supply chain in the Eastern region. The 100 acre Park is situated by the A47, 5 miles from the Norfolk Research Park. First occupiers are now on site – Condimentum Limited who are processing the mint and mustard for Colman’s. Future includes a Food Innovation Centre with 13 food grade “start-up” units and a central Hub with test kitchens with marketing and academic support from the UEA and a large Vertical Farm development with Fischer Farms.
Clarke was CEO of Anglia Farmers, the £260m agricultural input supply co-operative for 15 years until his “retirement” in June 2017. AF sourced approximately 10% of UK inputs into farmers and supported supply chains into Waitrose and Tesco. His career also encompassed Board roles at British Sugar plc, Dengie Crops and Dalgety Agriculture.
He is a Trustee of Harper Adams University Development Trust, trustee of Norfolk FWAG (environmental charity) and a member of the New Anglia LEP Skills Advisory Panel and AgriFood Industrial Council.
He was awarded an MBE in 2016 for Services to Agriculture, and awarded Fellowship of Royal Agricultural Societies in 2019.
Secretary General, The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA)
Philippe is a highly influential figure in the global fruit sector, notably as the Secretary General of WAPA (World Apple and Pear Association) & SHAFFE (Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Exporters), and the General Delegate of the World Citrus Organisation (WCO) and Freshfel Europe, the Brussels-based European Fresh Produce Association.
Dr Trisha Toop
Chief Technical Officer, Agri-EPI
Dr Trisha Toop joined Agri-EPI from Harper Adams University and is an expert in sustainable systems development with a passion in transforming agricultural systems through the use of novel targeted smart technology. Dr Toop works with project partners, governments, industry and the international agri-tech community to drive help Agri-EPI’s technological vision and strategy.
Trisha started out in the automotive engineering sector, before completing a degree in genetics and biochemistry. After winning a national competition which funded an interdisciplinary PhD in engineering and biochemistry, the focus of her work has been on the development of novel sustainable products and processes in the agri-food and agri-tech sectors. Trisha has worked with companies of all sizes across these sectors assisting them with innovation and facilitating cutting edge research with a global impact. She has worked as a research scientist, sustainability and techno-economic analysis expert and innovation manager for a number of companies.
Head of Agriculture and Partner, MHA
Sarah’s strength lies in helping ambitious, owner-managers to reach their goals. Her clients not only benefit from the emphasis she puts on having the right management information upon which to base decisions but her ability to summarise their position and make timely and appropriate recommendations. The commercial world plays a major role in Sarah’s life but being married to a farmer and living on a mixed farm, has afforded her the opportunity to understand and appreciate the agricultural sector at first hand. As head of the firm’s Agriculture & Rural Business sector, Sarah has brought her considerable personal agricultural knowledge to this sector, enabling her to develop an insight into farming & agricultural businesses not usually available to other accountancy professionals.
Mark Lumsdon-Taylor ACA MSc
Partner and Joint Head of Sustainability, MHA MacIntyre Hudson
Mark is a Chartered Accountant and corporate financier, delivering accountancy, audit and assurance services, with special interests in food manufacture, farming, rural business and ESG, and a belief that business must be underpinned by sustainable finance and sustainable accounting practices. He established Rural Policy Group in 2019 following 16 years in the rural economy working with both public and private sector businesses. As a Partner at MHA, Mark was the architect of the firm’s ESG service suite and assisted in the sale of Fourayes, the UK’s largest Bramley grower and fruit processor, to global food giant Puratos.
Mark has won numerous awards for his work including 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, a CBI Southeast Councillor and a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers.