Director, Sentry Ltd
John Barrett is the Business Manager for Sentry Norfolk and became a director of Sentry Ltd in 2016.
John graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1996 with a 2:1 degree in Farm Business Management. He joined Sentry as a Trainee Farm Manager on farms in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire before spending three years as Assistant Manager at Sentry Dorset.
He took on a management role at Ditchingham Farms when the estate moved away from in-house farming to contract farming and the transition proved a very successful one. This business has grown to 3,600 acres, and John manages nine farms with a team of four full time employees.
He is BASIS, BETA and FACTS qualified.
Dr Jonathan Clarke
Head of Business Development, John Innes Centre
Dr Jonathan Clarke was appointed to his current role as Head of Business Development for the John Innes Centre in 2009. JIC is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology.
Jon joined JIC in 1985 after completing his BSc. He studied for his PhD with Dr Caroline Dean at the John Innes Centre, identifying the genes underlying natural variation in flowering time and the vernalisation response in the model Crucifer Arabidopsis. In 1996 he returned to the John Innes Centre to continue his research and in 2002 he became the CSO of the JIC Genome Laboratory (JGL), now the Earlham Institute.
In response to the increasing emphasis placed by the Government on creating economic and societal impact from scientific research, Jon established the Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation activities for JIC. He plays an active role in developing innovation and spin-outs from JIC research and the interface between JIC science and industry.
Director of Farming, Holkham Farming Company
Poul manages more than 5,000ha of high-yielding crops in Norfolk and Poland for Salle Farms Company and Holkham Estate, building a sustainable farming strategy and using best practice and leading farming technology.
Poul managed farms in his home country of Denmark before moving to the UK in 1987 to take over the role of farms and estate manager at Salle Farms Company, just north of Norwich.
Holkham Estate on the north Norfolk coast is made up of approximately 6,100 hectares of tenanted land, plus 3,000 hectares that is farmed ‘in-hand’ by the Holkham Farming Company. Cropping is done on a six course rotation with sugar beet, salad potatoes, and oil seed rape with a combinable crop in between.
He is a past Director of Aylsham Growers, Morley Research and The Arable Group and is currently a member of the local Catchment Sensitive Farming Steering Group.
An early adopter of precision farming technology, catchment sensitive farming techniques and environmental stewardship schemes, Poul believes that environmental practices can complement modern intensive agriculture.
In 2014 the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association awarded Poul the Sir Timothy Colman prize for “his outstanding contribution towards promoting the interests and understanding of food, farming and the countryside in Norfolk”.
Organic farmer, investor and entrepreneur
William is Chairman of Nemadi Advisors Ltd. which specialises in earlier stage investment in existing businesses. As CEO he led the development and subsequent sale of both The New Covent Garden Soup Company and Green & Black’s. Amongst other companies, he is director of Samworth Brothers, Notcutts Ltd and Keystone Investment Trust plc.
He is actively involved in family farming businesses in East Anglia and works and campaigns on a wide range of issues connected with food and the countryside.
Head of Agriculture and Food, Innovate UK
Calum Murray is the Head of Agriculture and Food at Innovate UK which is part of UK Research and Innovation.
Calum studied agriculture at Aberdeen University. He then joined ADAS as a technical adviser covering the Suffolk Breckland in the 80’s as well as working for Andersons Farm Business Consultants. He returned to Scotland in 1990, working for both Scottish Agricultural College as a technical and farm business adviser before joining Bank of Scotland as national agricultural specialist in 1995.
In 2001 he transferred back to East Anglia with the Bank, becoming regional Director for NFU Mutual Finance in 2006. He joined Innovate UK in 2010 and has been actively involved in a number of key initiatives such as “Feeding the Future – Innovation requirements for primary food production in the UK to 2030” and as a member of the working group that developed the “UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies” launched in 2013. He was interim co-director for the Industrial Strategy Challenge Transforming Food Production throughout 2018.
CEO, Cambridge Network
The Cambridge Network is a membership organisation of high technology companies, which has played a key role in developing and facilitating the growth of the Cambridge cluster, an environment that encourages leading-edge research and high growth companies.
Claire is also a partner at PA Consulting Group, successfully delivering ambitious product development projects for clients around the world. Claire helped form several start-ups including CSR and is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the IET.
Senior Director for Sustainability, Asda
Chris graduated from the University of Wales, Bangor with a BSc in Agriculture followed with doctoral research into breeding beef cattle. He then worked within ADAS on dairy farming before moving to the Meat and Livestock Commission as Beef Strategy Manager. Chris then joined Marks and Spencer as an Agriculture Technologist before being appointed Agriculture Development Manager for ASDA. His current role includes agricultural development as well as wider sustainability issues for Asda.
Group Director of Agriculture, G’s
James was appointed in 2019 as Group Director of Agriculture at G’s, one of Europe’s leading international salad and vegetable producers. Energised by the opportunity to make a real difference as we enter, what he believes is, a golden age of agriculture. Dedicated to further developing regenerative, effective farming practices and utilising industry 4.0 techniques; big data and analytics, AI, robotics, controlled environment, biotech, block chain and driverless systems to meet the universal challenge of feeding more people for less.
As a seasoned finance professional with extensive experience in the agricultural industry I am interested in quantifying the value we add to each bottom line; profit, planet and people. Prior to this appointment James was most recently the Group CFO at G’s (5 yrs) and before that the UK Commercial Finance Director (9 yrs).
Since graduating from Nottingham University, in agricultural science and German, James has worked as a Finance professional gaining his professional qualifications with Deloitte in both audit assurance and corporate finance. During his career James has applied a commercial mentality to the finance function and played a key role in leading the strategic development of the business.
In his earlier career James has managed several European businesses, primarily in the broad acre agricultural commodity sector, leading multicultural teams as well as a dairy farming business in Germany and a cotton farming operation in Tanzania.
James is a fluent German speaker, family man, keen skier and novice sailor!
Senior Portfolio Manager – Agri-food Business & Innovation, BBSRC
James is a member of the business interaction team at BBSRC UKRI, the UK’s largest public funder of agri-food research. James’s role involves bringing together academic and industrial researchers to progress challenges in agriculture and food security.
James graduated from the University of Bath in 2008 with a 2:1 Masters degree in Chemical Engineering. He has since developed a broad background in the biological sciences through leading public-private partnerships to fund collaborative research into human health, livestock, crop science and smart technologies for horticulture and arables. James regularly engages with companies from across the entire supply-chain, from farmers and growers through to manufacturers and retail, and so has a strong interest in opportunities to support research that will deliver for the entire sector.
Technical Director, Crop4Sight
Robert graduated with an MSci Physical Geography in 2002 and was awarded a PhD in Palaeoglaciology in 2006; both from the University of Bristol. After working as a Data Analyst in the environmental data sector Robert joined Greenvale AP in 2014 as Research Manager. Within this role Robert developed prototype tools for crop monitoring and benchmarking that formed the basis of Crop4Sight, which became a standalone business in 2019. As Technical Lead he continues to develop the data and technology solutions that help Crop4Sight customers proactively optimise the marketable yield of their potato crops. Robert completed a Nuffield Scholarship in 2014 looking at effective use of data and role of data strategies in agricultural businesses.