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Our trustees

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.

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.

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.

Ken Caldwell

Ken has wide experience of international development and humanitarian issues, primarily from an international NGO perspective. His executive roles have included serving as Deputy Director of VSO, International Programmes Director of Save the Children, and Executive Director of WaterAid International, and his non-executive roles have included serving on the Boards of BOND, the Institute of Development Studies, and Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Ken has also worked as advisor to several global INGOs, especially in relation to the global board’s role in strategy, governance, and impact monitoring. He is currently a member of the global board of BRAC and Chair of BRAC UK, and a trustee and Chair of the Programme Committee at Oxfam GB.

Julian MarksJulian Marks

Julian Marks is Group Managing Director of Barfoots, an international farming business producing vegetables across the world mainly for UK customers. After a number of years as a British Army Officer, he has enjoyed roles in primary industries including Forestry and Timber, Agriculture and Horticulture, including a period living in East Africa producing salads and vegetables on the slopes of Mount Kenya. Julian has been a supporter of the Farm Africa Food for Good campaign for the last ten years alongside the Barfoots team. He has been a team member on the Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro and Mt Elgon treks.

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.

Caroline Miller SmithCaroline Miller Smith

Caroline Miller Smith is head of the EMEA Energy, Infrastructure Project and Asset Finance Group at White & Case LLP and is based in the firm’s London office. She is recognised by Chambers & Partners UK as a top-tier infrastructure, project development and project finance lawyer. She is a former chair of the White & Case Global Women’s Initiative and a member of White & Case’s diversity committee. From 2018 to 2022 she was a member of the Infrastructure Exports UK board at the Department of International Trade. In Africa, she has led deal teams on many significant transactions, including in Mozambique, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt.

Jane NgigeJane Ngige

Jane chairs Farm Africa's Kenya Board and sits on Farm Africa UK's Board. Jane chairs the Warehouse Receipt Systems Council, is Vice Chair of the Agriculture Sector Network and is a non-executive board member of a large bank in Kenya. She spearheaded the establishment of the Kenya Horticultural Council, was CEO of the Kenya Flower Council; served as Deputy Coordinator of the Green Belt Movement and founded Biosystems Quality Management Consultancy. Prior to that she was a civil servant at 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 CBE

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.

Vicky UnwinVicky Unwin

Vicky Unwin has had a long career, centred round her African roots, in both book and newspaper publishing. She was Managing Director of  the education publisher Heinemann International and Publisher of the African Writers Series with authors such as Chinua Achebe & Ngugi wa Thiong’o; Enterprise Director of the Telegraph Group; Managing Director of PR Newswire and, latterly, Media Director for The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. In addition to Farm Africa, she is currently Trustee of United World Schools, Transform Drug Policy Foundation and a member of the Caine Prize Advisory Council. She is also the author of two books, Love & War in the WRNS and The Boy from Boskovice: a father's secret life.

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