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Judith Batchelar OBE takes on new role as Farm Africa ambassador

15 November 2022

Judith Batchelar OBE takes on new role as Farm Africa ambassador

Judith Batchelar OBE, who was formerly Director of Sainsbury’s Brand at J Sainsbury plc, has announced she is becoming an Ambassador for the charity Farm Africa.

Having previously served as a Farm Africa Trustee and playing a key role in setting up Farm Africa’s Food for Good network for the food and farming industry, Judith has been a prominent supporter of the charity’s work for more than a decade.

Judith takes on the new role at a key moment for Farm Africa, as it promotes its End Hunger Grow Farming appeal, which is raising money to help farmers across eastern Africa regenerate their land, build climate-resilient businesses and grow more food.

Donations to the appeal are being matched by a generous group of Farm Africa supporters, meaning that donations received by 31 December 2022 will be doubled, up to a total of £150,000.

Farming communities in eastern Africa are currently having to contend with the worst drought to hit the region in 40 years. Thousands of people in Ethiopia and Kenya are facing acute food insecurity as harvests in the traditional 'food basket' regions fail.

Judith Batchelar commented: “I am delighted to take on the role of Farm Africa ambassador. I am fortunate to have visited Farm Africa’s work in Kenya and Tanzania, where I met farming families who have received support from the charity. I have seen the impact this support has made on the lives of the whole family. It was particularly inspirational to see thriving businesses built by female entrepreneurs, such as beekeepers and fish farmers. 

“When women are able to earn more money, it benefits not just them, but also the next generation. I met children who were able to attend school more regularly as their parents were now able to afford to pay for an education for them. The benefit of that will be felt for their rest of their lives.”

The End Hunger Grow Farming appeal focuses on Farm Africa’s Regenerative Agriculture project in Embu and Tharaka-Nithi counties. A total of 50,000 smallholder farmers are being trained in regenerative agricultural practices to boost their productivity, climate resilience, food security and incomes.

The farmers are learning about the benefits of inter-cropping, nitrogen-fixing crops, organic mature and water conservation, as well as learning business skills from finance and bookkeeping to sales and marketing.

Judith Batchelar visited Farm Africa’s work in Tanzania and Kenya while taking part in a series of fundraising challenges alongside other senior women from the food and farming sector in the UK. 

Judith was appointed OBE in 2015 for services to farming and the food industry.

She previously worked for Safeway, Marks and Spencer, Mars Confectionery and Bass plc. Judith is also Deputy Chair a Non-Executive Board Member of the Environment Agency and an Ambassador for the Woodland Trust.  From 2013 – 2018 she chaired the Innovation Working Group for the Food and Drink Sector Council.

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