How can farmers go green when they are in the red?

20 OCTOBER 2021

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This event is presented by Rural Policy Group in partnership with accountancy, tax and business advisory firm MHA MacIntyre Hudson, part of Baker Tilley International. MHA has a nationwide sector team dedicated to Agriculture, Food, Farming and Rural Business.

The event is sponsored by Whitehead Monckton, one of the largest legal practices in Kent with offices in Canterbury, Tenterden, Maidstone and London. With over 230 years of history, Whitehead Monckton has experience providing intergenerational support to families and family businesses, ensuring continuity and innovation. As an approachable and professional practice, Whitehead Monckton offer a wide range of services specifically for businesses together with legal support for individuals. Sector specialisms include rural business, leisure business, equine law, property, wealth management and mediation services to fulfil the needs of diversified and family enterprises.

Financial sustainability and a degree of certainty are essential for creating the conditions in which Britain’s farmers can invest in environmental sustainability.

Eight in 10 rural businesses want to be greener. For many, these ambitions are frustrated by the challenges arising from Brexit – such as labour shortages and restricted access to EU markets – as well the imbalance of power within the supply chain and policies which appear to favour the global search for cheap food and disincentivise British farming.

We need to get farming back in the black before this important industry can devote time and resource to tackling climate change within the food system and providing environmental services such as carbon sinks and clean power to the wider economy.

Join this important discussion and raise your questions at 2.00pm on Wednesday 20th October.


This event can be attended in person by visitors to the National Fruit Show. Visiting the show is FREE and the organisers only ask that delegates register in advance to comply with Covid safety measures.


Rt. Hon Sir Richard Needham

Rt. Hon Sir Richard Needham

Director, NEC Europe Ltd and former Minister of Trade

Sir Richard Needham’s ambition has always been to stand up for business in both Parliament and politics. He founded a packaging design company when he was 23 and went on to grow it into a silk screen, litho printing and laminating business before becoming an MP. From 1985-1992 Richard Needham was the Conservative Minister for Northern Ireland and is widely recognised throughout the region as the man responsible for turning round and regenerating both the North’s infrastructure and its economic base. In 1992 Richard Needham was promoted to Minister of Trade and became Michael Heseltine’s Deputy. Over three years he overhauled and reinvigorated the whole of Britain’s export strategy. He is accepted in Whitehall as Britain’s most successful Minister of Trade since the the Second World War. In recognition of his work in Northern Ireland and at the DTI he was made a Privy Counsellor in 1994 and knighted in ’97.

Since leaving politics he has become involved in a number of businesses both large and small. He was international Director at GEC plc from 1995-1997, Meggitt plc from 1997-2002, Dyson from 1995-2011, Chairman of the London Heart Hospital for five years and Biocompatibles Plc for six years together with a number of other public companies. He is currently the Chairman of Kaelo and a non-executive director of the NEC Group.

Teresa Wickham

Teresa Wickham

President of the Marden Fruit Society and BBC broadcaster

Teresa has over twenty eight years’ experience of managing and developing complex areas of business, primarily in food, agribusiness and the retail industry, including as a board level corporate responsibility advisor to a major supermarket. She has served on a number of Boards as a non Executive Director, including Covent Garden Market Authority, and partners with her husband in a fruit farm. Teresa co-founded the Women’s Farming Union was made a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society in 1988 in recognition of her contibution to agriculture and the food industry. She is a regular braodcaster on BBC business programmes on retail and consumer issues.

Rich Hall

Rich Hall

Head of Sustainability and Stakeholder Assurance, MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Rich joined MHA MacIntyre Hudson in September 2020 to lead their Sustainability, Corporate Responsibility and Climate Change work. Drawing on over 30 years cross sector, multi discipline experience. Rich brings over 15 years’ experience and passion of leading successful Sustainability and risk engagements. He has worked and led teams both internationally and within the UK, working with some of the largest and most complex businesses across their global footprints. Having led teams in the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and America he places a high value on embracing cultures and diversity and supporting responsible and purposeful business.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor

Partner, MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Mark is a Chartered Accountant, corporate financier and consultant with special interests in food & farming, rural business, ESG and the 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.

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