Food, Farming and Countryside Commission

Our people

We are growing a community of people working together for change.

Sir Ian Cheshire

Chair, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission and Chair, Barclays Bank UK

Sir Ian was appointed Non-Executive Chairman to the Barclays UK Board in April 2017. He was appointed Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher plc from January 2008 and left the group in early 2015. Prior to this he was Chief Executive of B&Q. His previous roles at Kingfisher from 1998 onwards include Chief Executive of International and Development, Chief Executive of e-Kingfisher and Group Director of Strategy and Development.

Sir Ian has won a number of awards including lifetime contributions to retailing, green business and the Fortune WEF award for leadership in the circular economy. Sir Ian was knighted in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to Business, Sustainability and the Environment and is a Chevalier of the Ordre National du Merite of France. Other current principal external appointments: Chairman, Maisons du monde; Chairman, Menhaden plc; Lead non-executive director for the government.

Sir Ian Cheshire
Chair, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission and Chair, Barclays Bank UK
Judith Batchelar OBE

Director, Sainsbury’s Brand & Chair, Innovation and Nutrition Working Groups, Food and Drink Sector Council

Judith is responsible for all aspects of Sainsbury’s Brand product offer, from policy formation on aspects such as ethical and sustainable sourcing, through to product technology, development, and safety, packaging, corporate responsibility, and public affairs. She has worked in the food and drink industry for 37 years and is a biochemist and Registered Scientist. In addition to her work at Sainsbury’s, Judith is a Non-Executive Director at the Environment Agency and the Rugby Players Association, is Deputy Chair of Farm Africa, sits on the Board of Trustees of the Matt Hampson Foundation, the Executive Board of The Prince's Trust Accounting for Sustainability Project, and is an ambassador for the Woodland Trust. Judith is a Fellow of both the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA). Judith co-chaired the Government’s AgriFoodTech Council for five years and now sits on the Food and Drink Sector Council.

Judith Batchelar OBE
Director, Sainsbury’s Brand & Chair, Innovation and Nutrition Working Groups, Food and Drink Sector Council
Helen Browning OBE

Chief Executive, Soil Association

Helen has a mixed organic farm in Wiltshire, with dairy, beef, pigs, cereals, and is now also experimenting with agroforestry. Her products are sold through the Helen Browning’s Organic brand in retailers big and small, as well as through her mini hotel and restaurant/pub on the farm, and through her restaurant in Swindon. She is Chief Executive of the Soil Association, a member of the Food Ethics Council, trustee of the RSPB. Prior to rejoining the Soil Association, Helen was Director of External Affairs for the National Trust. She has had a number of roles in agri-politics over the years, including the Government’s Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food (‘the Curry Commission’) and chaired the England Animal Health and Welfare Implementation Group. Helen was awarded an OBE in 1998 for her services to organic farming.

Helen Browning OBE
Chief Executive, Soil Association
David Fursdon

Chairman, Beeswax Dyson Farming & Trustee, National Trust

David is a qualified rural chartered surveyor with a background in private practice and consultancy for both large and small farms and Estates. Currently Chairman of Beeswax Dyson Farming Ltd. and on the Trustee Board of the National Trust, he is interested in the interaction between commercial farming and the environment, which is something he has looked at with the Green Alliance. His own commercial experience comes from running his own diversified family business in Devon and as a Crown Estate Commissioner. He has championed new entrants in agriculture, chairing the Government sponsored 'Future of Farming' Review. He was an English Heritage Commissioner and was President of the CLA. He chaired the SW Rural Productivity Commission; the SW Rural and Farming Network and served on the Affordable Rural Housing Commission and Rural Housing Policy Group.

David Fursdon
Chairman, Beeswax Dyson Farming & Trustee, National Trust
Andrew Selley

Chief Executive, Bidfood

Andrew has spent 21 years with the Bidfood business (formerly Bidvest Foodservice), primarily developing the food logistics business in the UK, as well as the businesses in Turkey, the Middle East, the Baltics and Spain. He became Chief Executive of Bidfood UK in 2014, and also sits on the global leadership Foodservice Group within Bidcorp, Bidfood’s ultimate parent company. Bidfood is the UK’s leading provider of food, beverages and packaging to the hospitality industry. In 2020 Andrew also inherited responsibility for Bidfresh – the UK based business specialising in fresh meat, fresh fish and fruit and vegetable sales to the hospitality industry.

After serving as a Council Member for three years, Andrew was also appointed Chairman of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors in January 2017, through to January 2020, the industry body representing the interests of wholesale and cash & carry in the UK. As well as being a commissioner, Andrew also sits on the advisory body for the National Food Strategy.

The wider Bidfood business employs more than 6,000 people in the UK and has focus on food innovation, service excellence, sustainability, and delivering great value. Prior to joining Bidfood Andrew’s career began at Coca-Cola Enterprises, where he worked his way up from Graduate Trainee to Trading Director of the wholesale division.

Andrew Selley
Chief Executive, Bidfood
Shirley Cramer CBE

Former Chief Executive, Royal Society for Public Health

In May 2020, Shirley stood down from her role as Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, after 7 years at the helm. She has been a voluntary sector leader in both the UK and USA and also a non- executive in both countries. She was previously CEO of the National Centre for Learning Disabilities in New York and in the UK she was Chief Executive of Dyslexia Action for over a decade.

She is currently Chair of the think-tank, British Future and Chair of the Rare Dementia Support Groups Advisory Board at University College London. She is a trustee of Alzheimer’s Research UK and a member of the Advisory Board on health and care at the Institute of Public Policy Research. She is also an advisor to Breaking Barriers Innovations consultancy group.

Shirley Cramer CBE
Former Chief Executive, Royal Society for Public Health
Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE

Master, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge & former Director-General, National Trust

Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE became Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 2012. She came to the college after a long career in the voluntary sector, latterly as Director-General of the National Trust from 2001-2012. During her time as DG she made the Trust warmer and more welcoming, bringing the houses to life and raising the profile of the Trust’s work in the countryside. Fiona will take up her new appointment as Chair of the National Audit Office in January 2021.

Before the Trust, she was Director of the Women’s Unit in the Cabinet Office (1998-2000), Director of the Council for the Protection of Rural England (now Campaign to Protect Rural England) from 1987-98 and Secretary to the Council for National Parks (now Campaign to Protect National Parks) from 1980-87.

Fiona also holds a number of non-Executive roles. She is a Trustee of the Grosvenor Estate, a Non-Executive Director of Wessex Water, Chair of the Green Alliance, the International National Trusts Organisation, the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England and Cambridge University’s Botanic Garden. A Member of the Advisory Panel for the Dasgupta Review of the Economics of Biodiversity. She was a Panel Member for the Glover Review of Protected Landscapes and Adviser to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.

Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE
Master, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge & former Director-General, National Trust
Professor David Hill CBE

Founder, The Environment Bank & Esmee Fairbairn Foundation Trustee

David is Chairman and founding owner of The Environment Bank Ltd which brokers funding from developments to create new, and enhance existing, wildlife habitats. He promotes the importance of environmental markets to restoring nature at scale. He established one of the first environmental consultancies in the UK, which he subsequently merged with a plc. He has a strong professional and personal interest in biodiversity conservation and has worked in the planning and development control sector for over 25 years, advising corporates and developers on the environmental impacts of their projects. David was a founding member of Natural England, the Government's statutory advisers on the natural heritage, its Deputy Chair 2011 - 2016, and a member of the Board of the UK government’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee. He was a member of the Government’s Ecosystem Markets Taskforce and is currently Chair of the Northern Upland Nature Partnership. David is Chairman of Plantlife, which promotes the conservation of plants, a Board Trustee of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and co-founder of the NatureSpace Partnership Ltd. He is passionate about nature conservation and enjoys bird watching and wildlife photography. David was awarded a CBE in the 2015 Queens Birthday Honours for services to nature conservation and the economy.

Professor David Hill CBE
Founder, The Environment Bank & Esmee Fairbairn Foundation Trustee
Dr David Pencheon OBE

Honorary Professor at University of Exeter, Formerly Director of the Sustainable Development Unit for NHS England and Public Health England

David is a UK trained doctor and was the founder Director of the Sustainable Development Unit [SDU] for NHS England and Public Health England, established in 2007. He left the SDU on 1st January 2018 and is an Honorary Professor and an Associate at the Medical School in the University of Exeter, UK, and Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. David was previously Director of the Public Health Observatory in Cambridge from 2001 to 2007. He has worked as a clinical doctor in the NHS, a joint Director of Public Health in North Cambridgeshire, a Public Health Training Director, with the NHS R&D programme, and in rural China in the early 1990s with Save the Children Fund (UK). He has honorary chairs at University College London and University of Exeter, a visiting professorship at the University of Surrey, and was awarded the OBE in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List for services to public health and to the NHS.

Dr David Pencheon OBE
Honorary Professor at University of Exeter, Formerly Director of the Sustainable Development Unit for NHS England and Public Health England
Ann Jones

Vice Chair, National Federation of Women’s Institutes

Ann and her husband run a beef and sheep farm and a property letting business in the foothills of the Cambrian mountains in Llanddewi Brefi with their family. Ann was brought up on a dairy farm in Carmarthenshire and was an active member of the Young Farmers movement. She moved to Ceredigion and immediately joined Llanddewi Brefi WI. Ann has been a very active member of the WI at local, federation and national level. She was Chairman of Ceredigion federation from 2010 to 2013. Wales Chairman from 2013 to 2017, National Vice Chairman 2016 to date and National Public Affairs Chairman 2017 to date. Ann has been an Eco Team leader for the WI and named on the first green list awarded by the Welsh Assembly. Ann plays an active role in her community having been a Chairman and secretary of Llanddewi Show, community councillor and school governor.

Ann Jones
Vice Chair, National Federation of Women’s Institutes
Kath Dalmeny

Chief Executive, Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming

Kath has been Chief Executive of Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming, since 2016. She is leading the alliance's response to Brexit and its profound implications for healthy and sustainable food, farming and fishing. She is also a member of the London Food Board and helped establish the Sustainable Food Cities Network. She is a vocal advocate of high standards for food, environment and animal welfare, and champions better trading practices and government support to reward food producers and workers for all the benefits they generate. Kath instigated Sustainable Fish Cities to persuade major foodservice companies to serve only sustainable fish; and the Right to Food initiative to address food poverty systematically so that everyone can eat well. She also helps run the Campaign for Better Hospital Food, and sits on Defra’s food procurement taskforce. On a voluntary basis she serves on the board of Growing Communities, an award-winning community-run sustainable food trading enterprise based in Hackney.

Kath Dalmeny
Chief Executive, Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming
Professor Tim Jackson

Director, Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity, University of Surrey

Tim is Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey, and Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP). CUSP builds on Tim’s vision over three decades to explore the moral, economic and social dimensions of prosperity on a finite planet. He’s served as an advisor on sustainability to numerous commercial, government and intergovernmental organisations. During five years at the Stockholm Environment Institute in the early 1990s, he pioneered the concept of preventative environmental management—a core principle of the circular economy framework—outlined in his 1996 book Material Concerns: Pollution Profit and Quality of life. From 2004 to 2011, Tim was Economics Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), where he led the Commission’s work on redefining prosperity. His work for the SDC culminated in the publication of his ground-breaking book, Prosperity Without Growth, which has subsequently been translated into 17 foreign languages. A substantially revised second edition has been published recently. In 2016, he was awarded the Hillary Laureate for exceptional international leadership. In addition to his academic work, Tim is an award-winning dramatist with numerous radio-writing credits for the BBC.

Professor Tim Jackson
Director, Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity, University of Surrey
Baroness Barbara Young

Chair, Woodland Trust & Member of the House of Lords

Barbara, Baroness Young of Old Scone, is a Member of the House of Lords with special interests, among others, in the environment, agriculture, natural resources and climate change. She has been Chairman of the Woodland Trust since 2016 and was appointed the Chairman of Council at the Royal Veterinary College in July 2019. Barbara is also Chancellor of Cranfield University.

Her other voluntary positions include President of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust; Honorary President of the South Georgia Heritage Trust; Patron of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Management; and Vice President of RSPB, Bird Life International and Flora and Fauna International. She has formerly held a variety of environmental leadership roles, including Chief Executive of RSPB, Chairman of English Nature and Chief Executive of the Environment Agency.

Baroness Young has also held leadership positions in health and social care, including management of health authorities in both Scotland and London. She was the founding Chairman of the Care Quality Commission and Chief Executive of health charity Diabetes UK. Other posts she has held include vice Chairman of the BBC and as a non-executive director of AWG plc. Baroness Young has a number of honorary designations and was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2017.

Baroness Barbara Young
Chair, Woodland Trust & Member of the House of Lords
Ufi Ibrahim

Strategic Business Leader, Former CEO, British Hospitality Association

Ufi is a strategic business leader with over 25 years experience in the hospitality, leisure, travel, and tourism industry. She is recognised for her success in cultivating mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses, associations, and governments, particularly as Chief Executive, British Hospitality Association and Chief Operations Officer, World Travel & Tourism Council.

Ufi was instrumental in the creation of the Government-led UK Tourism Industry Council, the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Visitor Economy, and the establishment of the International Competitiveness Monitor for Travel & Tourism, which is now operated by the World Economic Forum and recognised as the global benchmark for policy makers and investors. Ufi has also authored many destination strategies for the development of tourism economies including Croatia, Botswana and the State of Santa Catarina in Brazil, advising on policy reform to secure greater levels of Foreign Direct Investment, Exports and Competitiveness in domestic and international markets.

Ufi Ibrahim
Strategic Business Leader, Former CEO, British Hospitality Association
Sue Pritchard (ex officio)

Chief Executive, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission

Sue’s background is in leading change for more sustainable futures, as a consultant, practitioner, researcher and writer. Sue has worked with businesses, governments and enterprises on their strategy, culture and leadership, for over thirty years, most recently with a focus on the delivery of major and complex government projects. Alongside a number of ‘Visiting Fellow’ and board level public appointments, Sue has relished the chance, over the years, to blend the academic and the practical, strategizing and action, for whole systems change. Sue lives on an organic, permaculture livestock farm in Wales, with her family. The farm is home to a charity, the Silver Birch Foundation, which provides education, training and development for disaffected young people, in partnership with local schools.

Sue Pritchard (ex officio)
Chief Executive, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission
Sue Pritchard

Chief Executive

Sue is the Chief Executive of FFCC and is focused on leading the organisation in its mission to bring people together to find radical and practical ways to transform our food system and improve our climate, nature, health & economy. Sue brings extensive experience working with leaders in businesses, governments and enterprises, blending the academic and the practical for sustainable systems change. Sue lives with her family on an organic, permaculture, livestock farm in Wales, which accounts for pretty much all of her time outside of FFCC, and is a grounding reminder of the gritty realities of turning ideas into workable actions.

Sue Pritchard
Chief Executive
Professor Tom MacMillan

Director of Research

Tom works part-time at the Commission alongside his other role as Elizabeth Creak Chair in Rural Policy and Strategy at the Royal Agricultural University, where he focusses on informing national and international policy relating to the land-based sector, the environment and food. Tom is also a Senior Advisor for the National Food Strategy for England.

Tom was previously Director of Innovation at the Soil Association, where he founded the Innovative Farmers network, which supports practical ‘field labs’ by farmers, and led an overhaul of organic standards.

From 2003-2011 he was Executive Director of the Food Ethics Council, which received the BBC Food & Farming Derek Cooper Award for its Food & Fairness Inquiry. He has served on various advisory groups and boards, including for the Cabinet Office’s Food Matters report, ScienceWise, the BBSRC, Sustain and the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership.

He has a PhD in geography from the University of Manchester, where he investigated the use and abuse of science in food regulation.

Professor Tom MacMillan
Director of Research
Rebecca Renfro

Director of External Relations

Rebecca is a stakeholder, marketing and communications specialist with experience across the creative industries, higher education, arts, and charity sectors. She began her career in public relations, but has specialised over the years into developing brand narratives, advocacy and communications strategies for purpose-led organisations. She worked for many years at Channel 4 and then moved to working in higher education and for a range of charities including the Dartington Trust. She is particularly interested in how to build a community around an organisation so that they develop a shared purpose and mission.

Rebecca Renfro
Director of External Relations
Kenny McCarthy

Programmes and Partnerships Lead

Kenny has a wealth of experience in managing complex projects and delivering programmes of work focused on accelerating the transition to a more connected, purposeful and thriving world. He is driven by collaboration and fostering human centred ways of working together to deliver change. Prior to joining the FFCC, Kenny worked for the RSA, Drugscope and Action Hampshire. His work has included a focus on sustainability, systems thinking and wellbeing. Kenny holds a BSc in social and cultural anthropology and is accredited in Agile Project Management. He is curious about the space where inner and outer change meet - currently training in counselling, holding certificates in person centred counselling, integrative group process and prosocial facilitation.

Kenny McCarthy
Programmes and Partnerships Lead
Sophie Reid

Lead Places Researcher

Sophie manages FFCC's place-based inquiries in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and three counties and regions in England (Cumbria, Devon and East of England). She is an independent social researcher with a particular interest in food, and holds a BSc in Human Geography from University of Bristol and an MA in Anthropology of Food from SOAS.

As a freelancer, she works on evaluation, research and engagement projects across food insecurity, youth justice and community business and facilitates public conversations on topics including biometric technologies, a National Food Strategy for England and public priorities for UK trade deals. Prior to becoming freelance, Sophie managed a research and evaluation programme at Design Council, focused on the application of design principles to tackle complex social challenges.

Sophie Reid
Lead Places Researcher
Elliot Kett

Lead Food Systems Researcher

Elliot works on the food systems strand of work which seeks to join the dots between food, health and wellbeing, environment and farming to transition to a fairer, more just food system. He joined the Commission in 2018 to oversee the 7-month UK-wide bicycle tour, and did two (very hilly) stints in The Highlands and Cornwall.

Prior to joining FFCC, Elliot was a chef and has worked in restaurants in the UK, Denmark, Australia, and Ecuador, including Noma in Copenhagen. He is a part-time foraging instructor, and teaches butchery, fire cooking and wild food at Hunter Gather Cook, and also runs weekend foraging courses in London through Edible Wild London.

He has interned at Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, used to run the Brixton Food Assembly and has a BSc in Physical Geography from the University of Exeter.

Elliot Kett
Lead Food Systems Researcher
Verity Portas

Assistant Researcher

Verity works on the farming transition strand of work, focusing on designing and implementing a ten-year transition plan for sustainable, agroecological farming by 2030. She works for the Commission whilst completing her MSc in Food Policy at City University. Her dissertation research is on the agricultural education environment in England and its sufficiency as an enabler of transition to widespread sustainable farming.

Verity graduated from the University of Oxford in 2018 with a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology. Since then she has worked for a food tech start-up and has interned with the climate emergency team at the Institute for Global Prosperity at UCL. She has also spent periods of time working on farms around the world.

Verity Portas
Assistant Researcher
Tony Greenham

Finance Director and Company Secretary

Tony is Executive Director of South West Mutual, a regional mutual challenger bank serving the south west of England and focused on financing a just transition to a low carbon economy. He is also an adviser on sustainability to Lion Trust Asset Management and a Senior Fellow of the Finance Innovation Lab.

He was previously Director of Economics at the RSA and Associate Director, Finance and Economics at the New Economics Foundation. His publications include ‘People Powered Prosperity’, ‘Where Does Money Come From?’ and ‘The British Business Bank: Creating good sustainable jobs’. Tony’s early career was in the City as a chartered accountant and investment banker with Barclays and Credit Suisse.

Tony Greenham
Finance Director and Company Secretary
Jane Campbell

Digital and Events Manager

Jane is a digital communications and events specialist who joined the FFCC to help change the narrative around food and farming in the UK, and create a just transition to a society in which people and nature nurture each other.

She draws inspiration from her work creating digital supporter journeys within the climate movement, designing adventure festival events programmes that shifted the outdoors industry towards meaningful environmental action, and developing digital user experiences and engagement for the Wildlife Trusts.

Jane is a story-teller, a life-enthusiast and a fan of minimalist journeys in the wild, who thrives on human connection and communal action. She can often be found foraging in a local hedgerow, wallowing in the river Derwent or scrambling up a gritstone edge.

Jane Campbell
Digital and Events Manager
Annabel Morgan

Annabel provided administrative support to the CEO and FFCC Board from May-July 2020 as the Commission transitioned to become an independent charity.

She has over 10 years EA experience supporting C-suite executives both within a variety of organisation from large international companies, national sports organisations and most recently with a regional mutual start up bank in the South West. She combines this with a wealth of event and hospitality experience. Annabel is also a qualified yoga teacher and enjoys hiking and generally being in nature, taking advantage of the beautiful part of the world she lives in.

Annabel Morgan
Martin Yarnit

Martin Yarnit has had a career in education innovation. He now focuses his research on sustainable food production and distribution. He has built a cooperatively run village shop and local food centre and received Winston Churchill Memorial Trust funding to study food hubs and cooperatives in the U.S. and Italy.

Read his series of blogs on our conversations page.

Martin Yarnit
Professor Tim Jackson
Chair, Research Advisory Group

University of Surrey

Tim is Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey, and Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP). CUSP builds on Tim’s vision over three decades to explore the moral, economic and social dimensions of prosperity on a finite planet. He’s served as an advisor on sustainability to numerous commercial, government and intergovernmental organisations. During five years at the Stockholm Environment Institute in the early 1990s, he pioneered the concept of preventative environmental management—a core principle of the circular economy framework—outlined in his 1996 book Material Concerns: Pollution Profit and Quality of life. From 2004 to 2011, Tim was Economics Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), where he led the Commission’s work on redefining prosperity. His work for the SDC culminated in the publication of his ground-breaking book, Prosperity Without Growth, which has subsequently been translated into 17 foreign languages. A substantially revised second edition has been published recently. In 2016, he was awarded the Hillary Laureate for exceptional international leadership. In addition to his academic work, Tim is an award-winning dramatist with numerous radio-writing credits for the BBC.

Professor Tim Jackson
Chair, Research Advisory Group
University of Surrey
Professor Ian Bateman OBE
Research Advisory Group

University of Exeter

Ian J. Bateman OBE, FRSA, FRSB, is Professor of Environmental Economics and Director of the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP) at the University of Exeter Business School, UK. Ian has been awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit award and is a Member of the Natural Capital Committee (reporting to the Chancellor of the Exchequer) and the Board of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. He led the economics team for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK-NEA) and leads NERC SWEEP programme bringing together business and policy decision makers with research experts to examine natural environment and economic issues.

Professor Ian Bateman OBE
Research Advisory Group
University of Exeter
Professor Lorna Dawson CBE
Research Advisory Group

James Hutton Institute

Professor Lorna Dawson is co-lead in the Food, Farming and Countryside devolved Scotland inquiry and member of the Research Advisory Group. Lorna graduated with a BSc in Geography, Edinburgh and PhD in Soil Science, Aberdeen. She is currently Principal Scientist and Head of Forensic Soil Science at the James Hutton Institute, Visiting Professor at RGU, Chartered Scientist, Fellow of the Institute of British Soil Scientists, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is also an Advisor with the National Crime Agency, Expert Witness, holding diplomas in civil and criminal law and has worked on over 150 cases with police, agencies, and lawyers across the UK and overseas. She has published over 100 scientific papers, sits on the BAS General Committee, and holds a diploma in Science Communication. She is Science Advisor and KE Lead for the Environment for SEFARI (Scottish Environment Food Agriculture Research Institutes) and she sits on the Environment Protection Scotland Land Quality Expert Advisory Group.

Professor Lorna Dawson CBE
Research Advisory Group
James Hutton Institute
Professor Tim Benton
Research Advisory Group

Chatham House

Tim Benton leads the Energy, Environment and Resources programme at Chatham House. He joined Chatham House in 2016 as a distinguished visiting fellow, when he was also dean of strategic research initiatives at the University of Leeds, where he still remains a professor.

From 2011-2016 he was the “champion” of the UK’s Global Food Security programme which was a multi-agency partnership of the UK’s public bodies (government departments, devolved governments and research councils) with an interest in the challenges around food.

He has worked with UK governments, the EU and G20. He has been a global agenda steward of the World Economic Forum, and is an author of the IPCC’s Special Report on Food, Land and Climate (2019), and the UK’s Climate Change Risk Assessment.

Professor Tim Benton
Research Advisory Group
Chatham House
Professor Tim Lang
Research Advisory Group

City University of London

Tim Lang has been Professor of Food Policy at City University of London’s Centre for Food Policy since 2002. Hill farming in Lancashire UK in the 1970s formed his interest in the relationship between food, health, environment, culture and political economy. He is co-author of Sustainable Diets (2017), Food Wars (2015), Unmanageable Consumer (2015), Ecological Public Health (2012) and Food Policy (2009). He was policy lead on the EAT-Lancet Commission (The Lancet, 2019). His Feeding Britain (Pelican, 2020) explores the UK as a case study of a rich economy uncertain about food security. Probing the UK food system’s defences, supply, consumption and capacities, it concludes that, whichever risks are dissected, sustainability, health and social justice should be central to policy and planning, which they have not been.

Professor Tim Lang
Research Advisory Group
City University of London
Professor Janet Dwyer
Research Advisory Group

University of Gloucestershire

Janet is Professor of Rural Policy and Director of Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI). Janet joined the CCRI in 2002 after working for more than a decade in a government agency and an independent policy think-tank. She was awarded the title of Professor of Rural Policy in 2010 and became Director of the CCRI in 2013.

Janet directs and undertakes research related to agriculture, the environment and rural development. Her research expertise centres on European and UK rural development policy and practice, with particular interest in integrated approaches, environmental sustainability and institutional adaptation. Janet is well-known in policymaking circles in the UK and EU, has skills in facilitation and consensus-building, and is a regular speaker at international conferences.

She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a founder and steering group member of the Uplands Alliance, and an active member of the UK Agricultural Economics Society.

Professor Janet Dwyer
Research Advisory Group
University of Gloucestershire
Professor Monder Ram OBE
Research Advisory Group

Aston Business School

Professor Monder Ram OBE is the Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME). He is a leading authority on small business and ethnic minority entrepreneurship research and has published widely on the subjects and has extensive experience of working in and acting as a consultant to small and ethnic minority businesses. Monder is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences, and advises the government on the importance and value of ethnic minority businesses through his position on the APPG for BAME Business Owners. He also holds visiting positions at Warwick University and the University of Turku.

Professor Monder Ram OBE
Research Advisory Group
Aston Business School
Professor Michael Winter OBE
Research Advisory Group

University of Exeter

Michael is a rural policy specialist and social scientist with particular interests in applying inter-disciplinary approaches to policy-relevant research and in direct engagement in the policy process. His current research focuses on sustainable agro-food systems and food security; the historical and contemporary sociology of west-country agriculture; and the impact of COVID on the UK food system. He is a board member of Natural England, the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee and Rothamsted Research. Previous appointments include: Visiting Programme Director in Food Security at Wilton Park (Foreign Office), member of Defra’s Panel of Agricultural & Environmental Economists, the National Ecosystem Assessment Expert Panel, DEFRA’s Science Advisory Council, and a Commissioner for the Commission for Rural Communities from its inception in 2006 until its abolition in 2013. In 2008-09 he vice-chaired an inquiry into the future for the uplands reporting to the Prime Minister.

Professor Michael Winter OBE
Research Advisory Group
University of Exeter
Professor Dame Sarah Whatmore DBE, FBA
Research Advisory Group

University of Oxford

Sarah is Professor of Environment and Public Policy and, currently, Head of Social Sciences Division at the University of Oxford. She a track record of leading interdisciplinary research teams working at the interface of social and natural sciences including projects on wildlife trading, sustainable cities, flood and drought risk management. She has served as a member of the Science Advisory Council to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Chair of its Social Science Expert Group (2015 - 21) and as a member of the Board of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (2016 - 21). She was appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2020 for services to the study of environmental policy.

Professor Dame Sarah Whatmore DBE, FBA
Research Advisory Group
University of Oxford
Professor Kevin Morgan
Research Advisory Group

University of Cardiff

Kevin Morgan is Professor of Governance and Development in the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University, where he is also Dean of Engagement. Kevin’s research interests revolve around multilevel governance, urban and regional development and sustainable food systems. He is the co-author of Worlds of Food: Place, Power and Provenance in the Food Chain (Oxford University Press) and The School Food Revolution: Public Food and the Challenge of Sustainable Development (Routledge). In addition to his academic work, Kevin is actively involved in the worlds of policy and practice, having been the founding chair of the Bristol Food Policy Council and a former member of the Food Ethics Council.

Professor Kevin Morgan
Research Advisory Group
University of Cardiff
Professor Michael Lee
Research Advisory Group

Harper Adams University

Professor Michael Lee is an expert in sustainable livestock systems, defining their role in securing global food security at the same time as protecting environmental health (Livestock’s role in human and planetary health). He graduated with first class honours in Animal Science from University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1997 and gained a PhD in ruminant nutrition (protein and energy metabolism) from the University of Aberdeen in 2001. Michael is currently Deputy Vice Chancellor of Harper Adams University. Previously, he held a joint appointment between Rothamsted Research and the University of Bristol as Head of Site at North Wyke and Chair in Sustainable Livestock Systems. He has published over 250 research articles and papers including recent articles in Nature and Science. He was awarded the Sir John Hammond Memorial Prize in 2015 for services to Animal Science. He is currently President of the European Federation of Animals Sciences Livestock Farming Systems commission and Vice President of the British Society of Animal Science.

Professor Michael Lee
Research Advisory Group
Harper Adams University
Patrick Casement
Northern Ireland inquiry

Chair

Patrick Casement chairs the FFCC inquiry in Northern Ireland. Originally an animal ecologist, Patrick ran his family’s beef and sheep farm near Ballycastle for 30 years before returning to environmental work. He has been Chairman of the National Trust in N.Ireland, Chair of the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside, and Chair of Northern Ireland Environment Link. He serves on the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’ Expert Working Group on Sustainable Land Management, and is also a member of Steering Groups for the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site and the Heart of the Glens Landscape Partnership.

Patrick Casement
Northern Ireland inquiry
Chair
John Woods
Northern Ireland inquiry

Secretariat

John Woods provides the secretariat for the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission in Northern Ireland. He is a public policy consultant with a particular focus on sustainability and wellbeing. Recent work has included the Carnegie-QUB Roundtable on Measuring Wellbeing in Northern Ireland, work on community planning for local authorities and the future of health and social care. For his work on environmental issues in Northern Ireland he was named by the Independent on Sunday as one of the UK’s top 100 environmentalists.

John is a Belfast Climate Commissioner, a Lay Magistrate, an Independent Assessor for the Commissioner for Public Appointments, a Visiting Research Fellow at Queen's University Belfast and a Fellow of the RSA. In his spare time he is an enthusiastic grower of fruit and vegetables.

John Woods
Northern Ireland inquiry
Secretariat
Jane Davidson
Wales inquiry

Chair

Jane Davidson is Pro Vice-Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. From 2007- 2011, she was Minister for Environment and Sustainability in Wales where she proposed legislation to make sustainability the central organising principle of government; the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act came into law in 2015. Jane is Chair of the RSA in Wales and in 2017 was invited onto faculty on the Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership programme in Harvard University.

Jane Davidson
Wales inquiry
Chair
Professor Lorna Dawson CBE
Scotland inquiry

Co-chair

Professor Lorna Dawson is co-lead in the Food, Farming and Countryside devolved Scotland inquiry. She also sits on the Research Advisory Group. Lorna graduated with a BSc in Geography, Edinburgh and PhD in Soil Science, Aberdeen. She is currently Principal Scientist and Head of Forensic Soil Science at the James Hutton Institute, Visiting Professor at RGU, Chartered Scientist, Fellow of the Institute of British Soil Scientists, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is also an Advisor with the National Crime Agency, Expert Witness, holding diplomas in civil and criminal law and has worked on over 150 cases with police, agencies, and lawyers across the UK and overseas. She has published over 100 scientific papers, sits on the BAS General Committee, and holds a diploma in Science Communication. She is Science Advisor and KE Lead for the Environment for SEFARI (Scottish Environment Food Agriculture Research Institutes) and she sits on the Environment Protection Scotland Land Quality Expert Advisory Group.

Professor Lorna Dawson CBE
Scotland inquiry
Co-chair
Mat Roberts
Scotland inquiry

Co-chair

Mat Roberts is co-lead in the Food, Farming and Countryside devolved Scotland inquiry. Mat is Chief Executive Officer at the Shetland Amenity Trust, where he leads a team working to safeguard Shetland's cultural and natural heritage and to ensure that it is accessible for people to engage with. He has worked for many years across a range of sectors including commercial, public and charitable, including working for Interserve PLC as their Group Director of Sustainability Strategy. He is also a trustee of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, the National Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Cynnal Cymru (Sustain Wales).

Mat Roberts
Scotland inquiry
Co-chair
David Fursdon
Devon inquiry

Chair

Our inquiry in Devon is led by FFC Commissioner and Devonian David Fursdon. David is a qualified rural chartered surveyor with a background in private practice and consultancy for both large and small farms and Estates for both landlords and tenants. Currently Chair of Beeswax Dyson Farming Ltd and a Trustee of the National Trust he is interested in the interaction between commercial farming, society and the environment. He has run his own diversified family business in Devon and had roles as a Crown Estate Commissioner, an English Heritage Commissioner and as President of the CLA. He has championed new entrants in agriculture, chairing the Government sponsored 'Future of Farming' Review. He chaired the SW Rural Productivity Commission for the Chairs of the four SW LEPs. He is a Trustee of the Prince’s Countryside Fund and a Rural Committee member of the Duchy of Cornwall.

David Fursdon
Devon inquiry
Chair
Henri Greig
Devon inquiry

Co-ordinator

Daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, Henri Greig studied agriculture at Wye College, University of London in the late 70s, where she met Peter, her husband. She worked on farms in UK and Denmark, and with Peter farmed in New Zealand, managed an 1800 acre hill farm in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, and grew industrial chickens for a well-known high street retailer. In 1989 the family moved to Devon to start Pipers Farm, producing high quality meat from native breeds, direct to the consumer. They have built working relationships with farming families in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, offering them a route to market for their livestock, grown the Pipers Farm way. All the livestock are slaughtered on farm, or at a small local abattoir, an essential link in the supply chain, which Pipers Farm has championed.

They developed a customer base with a retail shop in Exeter, which they had for 23 years, before closing it in 2016, and a limited amount of wholesale business. Their nationwide delivery has grown since developing an online presence in 2003. Their son, Will, now runs Pipers Farm, pipersfarm.com

Henri passionately believes in nutrition as the basis of good health, from the soil upwards; in our nation’s food security for current and future generations.

Henri Greig
Devon inquiry
Co-ordinator
Julia Aglionby
Cumbria inquiry

Chair

Julia chairs the Cumbria Inquiry as Professor in Practice at the University of Cumbria. Other 'hats' include; Executive Director of the Foundation for Common Land, Chair of the Uplands Alliance and she is a practicing Rural Chartered Surveyor and Agricultural Valuer. Julia was a Board Member of Natural England from 2014 - 2019. She worked from 1993-2001 as an environmental economist on National Park projects in Indonesia and the Philippines. Julia has a keen interest in land tenure and her PhD was entitled Governance of Common Land in National Parks: Plurality and Purpose.

Julia lives in the Eden Valley, Cumbria with her family at Susan's Farm; an organic Care Farm of which she is a Trustee and where she enjoys working on the farm.

Julia Aglionby
Cumbria inquiry
Chair
Hannah Field
Cumbria inquiry

Co-ordinator

Hannah grew up in Rochester, Kent and has spent the last 10 years in Cumbria, beginning with her studies at the University of Cumbria gaining a BSc (Hons) in Animal Conservation Science and then, in 2019, her PGDip Ecosystem Services Evaluation. Hannah is currently a PhD Student at the University, researching how diverse perspectives and values in land management can be brought together for social and ecological benefit through place-based decision-making.

During this time, Hannah has worked for Forestry England in communications and visitor experience and runs her own business. She is an artist and tutor in wool crafts, designs and teaches nature-based and regenerative livelihood programmes and helps with horticulture and livestock on a permaculture smallholding. Hannah weaves together practical experience and academic knowledge to inform her research and practice.

Building relationships with the land threads Hannah’s life through fell-walking, mountaineering, lake swimming and gardening, always with collie-dog Nova.

Hannah Field
Cumbria inquiry
Co-ordinator
Marg Mayne
Independent non-executive director

Treasurer

Marg is currently Chief Executive of Mytime Active, a social enterprise focused on improving the health and wellbeing of local communities.

Marg has always been committed to social progress and supporting organisations to achieve their social objectives by applying commercial disciplines. She enjoys the challenge of managing both aspects to create a better world in a way that can be financially sustained.

Originally trained as a Chartered Accountant, her early career was as a finance professional, later Finance Director, for two leading Housing Associations during a decade of rapid growth in that sector. Marg then moved to the British Council as the Director of Finance and Resources globally. In 2008, Marg took up the role of Chief Executive of VSO, the international development NGO that works through volunteers.

Marg has held a range of non-executive board roles including Chair. She is currently Treasurer of Community Leisure UK as well being on the Board of the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission.

Marg Mayne
Independent non-executive director
Treasurer
Mike Pedlar

Mike Pedler is Emeritus Professor at Henley Business School, University of Reading. He is founding editor of the Journal: Action Learning: Research and Practice and co-founder of the Centre for Action Learning Facilitation (www.c-alf.org). He works and writes on action learning, self-development, leadership development and the learning organisation.

He was born in Sheffield, loves the Peak District and has been lucky enough to live for much of his life within 3 miles of Stanage Edge.

Read his blog co-authored blog on our conversations page.

Mike Pedlar
Will Frazer

Senior Researcher and Policy Developer

Will Frazer works part time in the research and policy team at the Commission and brings with him a wealth of experience in farming and communications. He is currently based in Herefordshire but will be moving back to Northern Ireland to manage the diversified family farm in Spring 2021. Over the last four years Will has been representing the business interests of 1100 farms in Gloucestershire for the National Farmers Union and so brings with him a strong understanding of the current agricultural policy landscape and sense of what works on the ground.

Prior to that Will spent four years in the farming press at Farmers Weekly, where he managed the brand’s major editorial projects and campaigns. He started his career at Forum for the Future helping to deliver the award-winning Farming Futures behaviour change project on climate change. Will holds a Master's degree in Geography from the University of Bristol and in 2014 completed a 234 day, 15,000 mile cycling journey around the world raising more than £23,000 for the charity Save the Rhino.

Will Frazer
Senior Researcher and Policy Developer
Dr Courtney Scott

Senior Policy Researcher

Courtney is a food and nutrition policy expert who is passionate about ensuring everyone has enough food that is good for us, good for farmers and good for the planet. Prior to joining the Commission, she was Research and Policy Advisor at the Food Foundation and worked on nutrition and public health research and advocacy in the US and Belgium.

She began her career as a Registered Dietitian (United States) and earned her masters in public health nutrition at the University of California – Berkeley. In 2017 she completed her PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, studying nutrition policy governance.

Courtney is an unabashed local fruit and vegetable enthusiast, a campaigner for nutrition in the early years and preventing food insecurity, and her Californian roots show often.

Dr Courtney Scott
Senior Policy Researcher
Joanna Stickler

Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive

Joanna provides support to the Chief Executive and to the Commission's Board, and is working with the team to assist the FFCC’s transition to an independent charitable organisation.

With a background in operations management, Joanna joined the FFCC from the Royal Household and has a wealth of experience in events and hospitality, alongside supporting senior executives.



Joanna Stickler
Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive
Tom Burston

Deputy Director

Tom is the Deputy Director of FFCC and leads the Policy and Research team, developing practical policy recommendations that respond to the urgent and interconnected challenges of our climate, nature and health crises.

Tom’s work is driven by his understanding of how real development and sustainable change happens through informed planning and building trusting relationships. Tom brings experience of working with development agencies around the world, embracing different perspectives in order to find shared interest and common cause.

When Tom is not working, you will find him in the Northumbrian hills with his wife and their two children. Tom is a huge fan of Northumberland and is vice Chair of Alwinton Border Shepherds’ Show, the north of England’s premier hill-farming show.

Tom Burston
Deputy Director
Emily Stewart

Researcher

Emily has a background in living systems thinking, complexity and research, and works at the Commission alongside her freelance capacity as a facilitator and consultant. She is focused on understanding and developing the resilience and adaptive capacities of communities to meet the need for change in food and farming systems, and the ways in which food provides an opportunity to recognise our collective interdependence. Her approach is informed by her role as a certified Warm Data Lab host with the International Bateson Institute where she hosts transcontextual conversations that build relationships and the perception of possibilities amidst complexity.

In previous roles she has worked in drafting cancer prevention policy, researching sustainable animal feed innovations, developing responsible institutional leadership, social entrepreneurship, new economics and the reform of the financial system from within. Having spent time living, learning and working in ecovillage communities across the world, she is passionate about the transition to regenerative ways of living, and a healthier connection to nature, scale and time. Emily holds a degree in Philosophy and Psychology from Oxford University, and is an On Purpose social enterprise fellow and a Sister Stories women’s circle host. She loves to wild swim, explore different cultures and meet new horizons.

Emily Stewart
Researcher
Chris Blake

Chris Blake is Director of Green Valleys CIC. He has spent the last decade supporting community responses to climate change. As a founding Director of both award-winning social enterprises The Green Valleys and Community Energy Wales he has been at the forefront of the movement for community owned renewable generation.

More recently he has been leading the Skyline programme delivering landscape-scale community stewardship of public land in the South Wales Valleys. He is also a Board member of Natural Resources Wales.

Chris explores how local food production could be transformed with lessons from the electricity market in his blog From Feed-in Tariff to Feeding Tariff

Chris Blake
Professor Nigel D Scollan
Research Advisory Group

Institute of Global Food Security, Queens University Belfast

Nigel Scollan is Director of The Institute for Global Food Security and Professor of Animal Science at Queens University, Belfast. The Institute addresses key challenges around paradigm shifts in agricultural practices. global food integrity and nutritional challenges of the twenty-first century.

Professor Scollan conducted his PhD at The University of Edinburgh, followed by a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada before joining Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Aberystwyth in 1993 and subsequently Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) Aberystwyth University in 2008. He held a numbers of posts at IBERS including Waitrose Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and Professor of Public Engagement with Science at Aberystwyth University, group leader Animal Systems and Director of Enterprise.

Professor Scollan’s research is primarily related to designing improved systems for ruminant livestock, through the use of improved nutrition and genetics to enhance the sustainability and efficiency of the production systems. Improving nutritional quality is an important aspect of the research. Professor Scollan works closely with producers and other key stakeholders across value chains.

Nigel is a Past President of the British Society of Animal Science, a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society in the UK and a Director of the Oxford Farming Conference.

Professor Nigel D Scollan
Research Advisory Group
Institute of Global Food Security, Queens University Belfast