The Evolving Role of Land Use in a Sustainable Economy

26 MAY 2022

Land Use in a Sustainable Economy

In the afternoon session of Rural Policy Group’s annual conference we turn our attention to agriculture as the engine of a sustainable UK plc. We will be investigating the growing demand for farmland to provide clean fuels & energy and other environmental services.

We ask the panel to consider the diversification opportunities available to landowners and how we balance these needs with the need to produce food and improve the nation’s food security.

The annual conference is opened in the morning with a session on Creating the Conditions for Investment in Sustainability when we will be looking at the challenges facing food and farming businesses and how we can overcome them. 

Tim Farron

Tim Farron

Liberal Democrat Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs Spokesperson

Tim Farron is the Liberal Democrat EFRA Spokesperson and Member of Parliament for the Cumbrian consituency of Westmoreland and Lonsdale. Tim has been an MP since 2005 and led the Liberal Democrats between 2015 and 2017. During his leadership, Tim identified rural affairs and the green economy as important priorities for the party. Tim is a great champion of Britain’s farmers and their livelihoods and in March 2022, he led a Westminster rally in support of his Parliamentary Bill which would protect British food and farming standards in trade deals.

Stephen Winningham

Stephen Winningham

Co-Founder and Vice Chairman, City Harvest London

Alongside a highly successful career in business and finance and his responsibilities as Chairman of Investmenr Banking at Panmure Gordon, Stephen co-founded City Harvest London – the food rescue charity which delivers surplus food to community organisations in all London boroughs serving meals to vulnerable people. Collecting surplus food from hundreds of food businesses, more than 11 million meals have been delivered to over 300 community food programmes free of charge.

Grace O'Dwyer

Grace O'Dwyer

Regional Agriculture Director, HSBC

Grace is the Agriculture Director for the South and East England region for HSBC Corporate and Business Banking. Prior to joining HSBC in 2017, she led the NSF Food UK business to deliver food safety and good agricultural practice audit and certification services across global agricultural and food manufacturing supply chains, ensured the delivery of assurance schemes including Red Tractor, was a regional policy advisor for the NFU and aFarm Systems Manager for Syngenta. 

Rachel Nutt

Rachel Nutt

Renewable & Sustainable Energy Sector Head and Partner, MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Rachel is a Chartered Tax Adviser, a specialist in providing tax planning advice to entrepreneurs’ businesses. Rachel is a firm believer that to provide advice that is effective she has to really understand her client’s business, personal goals and aspirations. As well as heading up the firms Renewable and Sustainable Energy Sector, Rachel has extensive experience in Motor, Agriculture and Manufacturing & Engineering sectors.  Much of Rachel’s time is spent on transactional work both in the UK and internationally. She re-joined MacIntyre Hudson’s tax department in September 2005 after a period working with a finance house in London, providing sophisticated tax planning products to high net worth individuals and large owner managed businesses.

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.

Sarah Calcutt

Sarah Calcutt

Chair of the National Fruit Show and NED, Covent Garden Market Authority

Sarah is a 6th generation farmer from the Weald of Kent.  Originally trained as a classical musician she had returned to the family business by her mid 20’s and has spent the subsequent 20 years working within the vibrant food and farming community of the UK. In addition to running Partners in Produce Ltd, her successful business growth and communications consultancy, she is also the Operations Director of British Apples and Pears Ltd, Chair of the National Fruit show, SE Chair of the Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust, Council member of the Rural Policy Group and NED for Tech fresh produce start-up business COGZ.

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