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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.

Chair - John Reizenstein

John recently retired as CFO 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 and Non-Executive Director of Beazley plc.

John YoungBoard Secretary - John Young

John was formerly global Co-Chair of the law firm Hogan Lovells. He retired in 2012 after 33 years with the firm and its predecessors, advising the insurance industry on corporate transactions and regulatory matters. John is a non-executive director in the insurance industry and a charity trustee. He is chair of Guy Carpenter & Company Limited, Forester Life Limited, Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited and the Worshipful Company of Insurers Charitable Trust. He is a governor of The Manchester Grammar School and an external member of the audit and development committees of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.   

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 BatchelarDeputy Chair - Judith 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 £188,000.

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 Brereton retired at the end of 2018 as a Senior Partner of PwC, leading the firm's Financial Services Clients and Markets activity in EMEA. Previously he led PwC’s Global Communications Industry practice 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. Colin’s career at PwC included serving on the firm’s UK Supervisory Board for eight years. He was born and grew up in Africa, and has previously worked for PwC in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Colin also sits on the Boards of the Floreat Education Academies Trust and the Royal National Children's Springboard Foundation.

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.

Laketch MikaelLaketch Mikael

Laketch Mikael is a senior agricultural specialist from Ethiopia. She is currently working part time on consultancies on agricultural development with international organisations such as the World Bank, the UN FAO and IFAD. She also serves on a high-level advisory panel to the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture as it revisits its Agricultural and Rural Development Policy.  Before this, she was a Senior Director at the Ethiopia Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA).  Prior to her work with the ATA, Laketch served with the World Bank, USAID and the Government of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Planning.

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. 

 

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.