Careers in Farming

07 September 2023

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

The Talk

Building on the success of previous RED Talks, we continue to debate the big issues in the British food system with those involved in producing and supplying the food we eat. RED Talk: Careers in Farming brings together a panel of experts from business, politics and academia to debate the challenges in recruiting workers to agricultural businesses and how we can solve them. 

We talk the future of the farming workforce:

  • redressing seasonal labour shortages
  • attracting new talent
  • how AI and agritech will re-shape career opportunities in agricutlure
  • succession planning in intergenerational businesses

This RED Talk is important for anyone involved in running an agricutltural or farm business, or shaping the operating environment of farmers and food producers.

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.

Tim Farron MP

Tim Farron MP

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.

David May

David May

Deputy Director of Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology

David has his own specialist consultant business, May AgriFood Services, alongside his role as Deputy Director of LIAT, providing advice on food, flowers and plant quality. David specialises in the impact of supply chains on product quality and in particular temperature management and damages through handling. He has extensive experience in QA and supply chain processes. He helps business optimise quality whilst using their resources efficiently. Previously David worked for Tesco PLC and ADAS. 

Max McGillivray

Max McGillivray

Editor-in-Chief, Beanstalk Global and Director, Redfox Executive Selection

Max is an experienced Executive Recruiter having formed the Redfox Executive Search business which majors on executive recruitment for leading clients in the Fresh Foods/Fresh Produce, Agri-Business & Retail Sectors on a UK and International Basis. Redfox sources Middle Management to Board level individuals across all work disciplines.

Max is the creator of The Great Fruit & Veg Adventure. An epic motorbike ride from London to Cape Town to promote Fresh Produce and its origins. The trip went through 18 countries, 18,000 km’s travelled and with over 50 Fresh Produce businesses visited. With 250,000 school children following us in real time, numerous awards were gained including the Point of Light Award from the UK Prime Minister for promoting International Fresh Produce.

Max is also the Creator of Beanstalk Global. The International Fresh Food sectors first Media Group with a difference. “Create the conversation and not be part of the conversation” is our key mantra. Numerous webinars and broadcasts and interviews conducted across the Globe to excite and entertain and educate about the amazing world and people behind fresh food. We also introduce highly regarded clients who are also looking to make a difference to key early stage and mature commercial opportunities for all parties to prosper and do good.

Joe Spencer

Joe Spencer

Partner, MHA

Specialising in the Agriculture & Rural Business sector Joe has developed a deep understanding of the challenges facing farming businesses today. He advises clients from small family farms through to larger commercial enterprises on various issues such as diversification projects, business restructuring, succession planning and benchmarking.

His experience within the agricultural sector enables him to offer considered and insightful solutions to sometimes difficult situations. Taking time to understand not only the business structure but also the family dynamics allows Joe to fully appreciate these relationships and to factor these in when suggesting inheritance tax and other succession planning strategies.

Joe is also involved in advising businesses operating within pharmaceutical and life science sectors. In particular, assisting with tax planning and structuring, and providing a full range of compliance services.

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. 

Related RED Talks

A Sustainable Rural Economy

EV in Food & Farming

ELM & Commercial Opportunities

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