Meet the Team

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor

Founder & Chair

Mark is a national leader in the finance, education and corporate landscape. Schooled at Gresham’s Norfolk, and studying Law and Economics at the University of Keele, he was appointed to a training contract for a top 20 chartered accountancy practise in London. Leading audit, assurance and recovery work in fields from financial services through to telecommunications he qualified with ICEAW.

For the next 16 years he delivered the agenda of transforming a bankrupt public sector college into a corporate business. Changing Hadlow College into the Hadlow Group, he redefined engagement with 1000s of businesses, leverage major investment and enabled nearly 70,000 students to be educated with economic and social regeneration in East Kent.

Mark has won numerous awards for his work including National Finance Director of the year 2007, Accounting for sustainability National award 2012 (ICEAW), National Business Finance Director 2014 (Finance Director) and the Institute of Directors (IOD) blue ribbon award for Governance and Finance excellence in 2018. He is also an ambassador for Kent and unique in that he has both private and public sector experience.

Katie Tucker

Katie Tucker

Co-Founder & Communications

Katie is an award-winning marketing generalist specialising in highly segmented markets and growth through adverse environments. With a career spanning the rural sector, the City and FTSE100 corporates, Katie now leads our events and communications, and is the voice of Twitter.

Sarah Calcutt

Sarah Calcutt

Vice-chair & Founding Partner PiP Ltd

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 and NED for Tech fresh produce start-up business COGZ.

The Rural Policy Group Council

Phil Acock

Phil Acock

Managing Director at Fourayes

Professor Mario Caccamo

Professor Mario Caccamo

Managing Director at NIAB EMR

Sarah Calcutt

Sarah Calcutt

Vice Chair, Rural Policy Group

Luke Collins

Luke Collins

Regional Manager at Waitrose & Partners

Anna Daroy

Anna Daroy

Member of the Board of Directors of the International Governance & Compliance Association and global business leader

Sarah Dodds

Sarah Dodds

Head of Agriculture, Partner at MHA Macintyre Hudson

Phil Eckersley

Phil Eckersley

Agent with the Bank of England

Christine Elliott

Christine Elliott

Chair of the Health and Care Professions Council and Director of the Independent Office for Police Conduct

Douglas Horner

Douglas Horner

Vice President of Kent County Agricultural Society and retired agricultural lawyer

Teresa Horscroft

Teresa Horscroft

Owner, Eureka Communications

Robert James

Robert James

Technical Director of Thanet Earth and Chair of Protected Edibles at AHDB

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor

Founder & Chair, Rural Policy Group

Cheryl Roux

Cheryl Roux

The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers Past Master and businesswoman

Karen Schenstrom

Karen Schenstrom

International adviser on food retail and grocery

Jonathan Shaw

Jonathan Shaw

Chief Executive of Policy Connect

Dr Jonathan Snape

Dr Jonathan Snape

Head of James Hutton Limited

Shirley Willis

Shirley Willis

Business Manager at Meridian Business Support

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Our Commitment

Rural Policy Group delivers on five key commitments

Communications

We think differently – sitting between finance houses, big businesses and innovative micro and small rural businesses we are in a position to translate the jargon, to ensure that the vocabulary is right to the benefit of everyone.

Use and assess information wisely

We will be the expert voice of rural, we understand the incredibly diverse needs of not only agriculture and horticulture but also the wide range of thriving firms that are based in rural communities. Our team of support specialists will enable businesses to identify what is and what is not important.

Resolving any financial crisis and risks

From fiscal policy through to the national food strategy, we will be representing the needs of rural business.

Getting business scenarios right

The RPG is here to meet the challenge of getting business right in a rural setting, ensuring access to the support you need and the recognition of financial contribution to the economy.

The Basics

Facilitating networks, support, translation of jargon and recognition.

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