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Our president and trustees

Sir Martin Wood, Farm Africa's presidentPresident – Sir Martin Wood OBE FRS DL

Sir Martin Wood is the brother of the late Sir Michael Wood, co-founder of Farm Africa with David Campbell. Sir Martin is an engineer, having completed a Masters degree at Cambridge. He is co-founder of Oxford Instruments plc, of which he is now honorary president.

 

 

 

 

Board members

Farm Africa is governed by a board of trustees who bring together a wide range of relevant skills and experience both from the UK and from eastern Africa.

Richard MacdonaldChair - Richard Macdonald CBE

Prior to becoming Farm Africa's Chairman in 2013, Richard Macdonald was director general of the National Farmers Union from 1996 to 2009. He is also Acting Deputy Chairman of the Environment Agency and a non-executive director of Moy Park, Dairy Crest and NIAB. He has previously worked as a trustee of the Royal Agricultural College, and as a chairman of the Government Better Regulation Task Force on food and farming. Richard has extensive knowledge of the food and farming industries and governmental relations. He was born in Tanzania.  

John YoungBoard Secretary - John Young

John Young retired in 2012 as chair of Hogan Lovells, a leading international law firm. During the course of his 33-year career with the firm, Legal 500 and Chambers, the UK’s two premier legal directories, recognized John as the UK’s leading solicitor advising the insurance industry on corporate and regulatory matters. He now acts as a Non-executive director of JLT Reinsurance Brokers Limited and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (London Management) Limited. John was appointed to the board of Farm Africa Enterprises Limited in March 2012 and was appointed to the board of trustees in March 2013.  

Nick AllenTreasurer - Nick Allen

Nick is a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge; from 2008 to 2018 he was the Bursar.   Before 2008, he had a career at Unilever in finance, risk management and general management.  He spent 10 years working with businesses in Africa and lived for five years in Zimbabwe. His last two jobs in Unilever were the CFO of the UK business, then Managing Director of Unilever’s venturing & innovation group. He is a Trustee of Book Aid International and Senior Treasurer of the Footlights.

 

Judith BatchelarJudith Batchelar OBE

Judith is Director of Sainsbury’s Brand and is responsible for Quality, Innovation, Corporate Responsibility and Public Affairs for the Sainsbury’s Group of companies. She is also a Non-Executive Director of The Environment Agency, sits on the Executive Board of the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project and is an Ambassador for the Woodland Trust. Judith has also been key in promoting Food for Good, and led a group of women in the Big Beehive Build’ and ‘Dig for Good Challenges’, raising around £130,000.

 

Minette BattersMinette Batters

NFU president Minette Batters built her farming business from nothing to over 300 head of stock. With a herd of pedigree Hereford cattle running alongside a herd of 100 Simmental cross suckler cows, she specialises in selling premium store cattle. She runs a diversified mixed farming business including a horse livery, wedding and corporate events venue, and a catering business specialising in home grown produce, and now employs two full time and up to 20 part time staff. Minette co-founded the campaigning initiatives Ladies in Beef’ and ‘Great British Beef Week’.

Colin Brereton

Colin is a senior partner in PwC UK, and served for eight years on the firm's Supervisory Board. He was born and grew up in Africa, and has previously worked for PwC in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Currently Colin leads PwC's Financial Services advisory business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Previously he was the leader of PwC’s global telecoms group, during which time he wrote papers and gave presentations on how telecommunications could improve health, education and agricultural productivity in developing nations, particularly in Africa.

Serena Brown

Serena is Director of Sustainable Development for KPMG International, leading on ‘shared value’ opportunities for KPMG and its clients to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. She is a Chartered Accountant and has a MSc in International Development. Her previous roles have included Country Director for Tearfund in South Sudan and Kenya, Chief Executive of Trade Aid in Tanzania, and KPMG Auditor in the UK, Australia, Hong Kong and Laos for various listed financial services companies. Serena is also Trustee of World Vision UK.

Jonathan KyddProfessor Jonathan Kydd

Jonathan Kydd is Dean of University of London International Programmes and Chief Executive of the University of London International Academy. He was Professor of Agricultural Development Economics at Imperial College London from 2000 until 2007 and held positions at Wye College, University of London and the University of Malawi.  He has eight years’ service in Malawi, as a VSO volunteer and as a university lecturer and researcher. He was Special Adviser for the House of Commons International Development Select Committee’s enquiry on agriculture.

Laketch Mikael

Laketch Mikael is of Ethiopian nationality, with over 25 years’ experience working with agriculture development issues. Currently Laketch is the Senior Director for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth at the Ethiopia Agricultural Transformation Agency. She leads on programs that deal with environmental sustainability and inclusive growth and with cross-cutting initiatives such as climate and environment and gender equality and nutrition. Prior to this, Laketch worked at the World Bank Ethiopia and USAID Ethiopia. In the past she has also helped prepare a project proposal for extending Farm Africa’s Ethiopian Women’s Goat Project.

Jane NgigeJane Ngige

Jane runs the Kenya Horticultural Council (KHC), an umbrella body consisting of the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) and the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), which addresses crosscutting issues facing the industry. Prior to that, Jane was Chief Executive of the KFC for 13 and a half years. Jane has also served as Deputy Coordinator of Green Belt Movement, founded the agri-business Biosystems and spent her early career working with the Kenya Bureau of Standards and the Kenya Trypanosomiasis Research Institute.

Jan Bonde NielsenJan Bonde Nielsen

Jan Bonde Nielsen is a long-term supporter and former chairman of Farm Africa. His business interests have included shipping, oil transportation and agriculture/floriculture. He now mainly lives in Kenya.

 

Charles ReedCharles Reed

Charles Reed runs William Reed Business Media, a fifth generation family-owned company that provide business information across the food, drink and hospitality markets. Charles joined Richard Macdonald and a number of other senior members of the UK food industry to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in September 2011. 

 

John Reizenstein

John recently retired as Chief Financial Officer of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. He started his career as an Overseas Development Institute Fellow, working as an economist in Swaziland. Over the next 20 years he worked for UBS and Goldman Sachs in a variety of roles, including Managing Director, Financial Institutions, and later served as Managing Director, Corporate & Markets at Co-operative Financial Services. Throughout his career John has retained his interest in Africa’s development, most recently as a Vice-President of Save The Children. He is a Trustee of Nightingale-Hammerson, a UK elderly care charity.

Tim Smith

Tim Smith has over forty years’ experience in the food and retail industry, having recently stepped down as Tesco’s Group Quality Director. Previously he was for five years the Chief Executive of the UK’s Food Standards Agency. Tim graduated from Leeds University with a degree in Microbiology and Zoology and has since led companies including Northern Foods, the Sara Lee Corporation, Express Dairies and Arla Foods plc. Tim has championed Farm Africa in a variety of ways: supporting the Food for Good campaign, climbing Kilimanjaro and twice riding the Prudential Ride London 100.