John Chinn, Cobrey Farms – Chair

Cobrey Farms is a family partnership of John Chinn, his wife Gay and their sons Henry and Christopher. The partnerships owns 500ha (1250 acres) near Ross-on-Wye and, in addition, rents/manages in excess of 900 ha (2,250 acres) around Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Production encompasses asparagus, blueberries, potatoes, green beans, rhubarb, combinable crops, broiler chickens and a small vineyard.

Fraser Black – CEO

Fraser spent 2 years at NERC Institute of Virology Oxford as a research scientist before moving to the first step in his commercial roles with Amersham International. He has over 30 years’ commercial experience (sales, marketing, and business and market development) in the Bioscience industry. He lived and worked in UK, Germany and the US in a variety of sectors that included President of Hoefer Pharmacia, San Francisco, Vice-President of Service, Americas for Amersham Biosciences and Global GM for Scientific Asset Services for GE Healthcare, Life Science Division. Fraser has taken leadership roles as Managing Director of BioCity Scotland and latterly as Managing Director of James Hutton Limited where the emphasis has been very much on the interface of academia, industry and government to drive industry lead Commercialisation of IP by building a Professional Services delivery approach. He has a passion for both the development and adoption of innovation to drive health and wealth. Fraser was recently on the Board of Opportunity North East which secured £30M for a Life Science Innovation Hub in Aberdeen and is a member of The Life Sciences Industry Leadership Group, that advises the Scottish Government.

Caroline Drummond MBE, Hon DSc, NSch,
HonFSE, FRAgS, FIAgM, FRSA, FSB, CEnv, BSc(Hons) Agric Chief Executive of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming)

Caroline has been running LEAF, the farming and environmental charity since it started in 1991. She graduated in Agriculture and has broad practical agricultural experience from across the globe. Her work focuses on encouraging more sustainable farming practices and building a better public trust and understanding of farming, food and the environment – values that she is personally extremely passionate about. She is actively involved in many industry partnerships and initiatives.

In 2009 Caroline was awarded the MBE, she has an Honorary Doctorate from Harper Adams University, a Nuffield Scholarship and was awarded Honorary Fellowship for the Society of the Environment.

Caroline is actively involved with the British Nutrition Foundation, North Wyke, the Agri-tech initiative – CHAP, the IAgrM, and the Science Museum.

Caroline is married to a dairy farmer and they have a young daughter.

Derek Croucher, Morning Foods, Technical Director

Derek is Technical Director for the Morning Foods group of companies with responsibility for all regulatory, compliance and technical aspects encompassing both the food and animal feed businesses. Derek is a graduate food technologist with nearly 30 years’ experience in technical and operations roles in the food industry working across frozen, chilled and ambient sectors.

Derek has led projects on contaminants with both the Food Standards Agency and with the European Commission. Derek is Chair of the FDF Food Safety & Scientific Steering Group; Chair of the FDF Emerging Issues & Incident Management Working Group; and Chair of the British Oat & Barley Millers Association Technical Committee.

Director Andrew Swift, Fera Representative

At Capita with Fera Science Ltd, Andrew is responsible for all aspects of Fera’s business, in its support of Defra and its affiliates as well as its commercial services as a part of the strategic growth of Capita in scientific services. He was interim CEO of CHAP during most of 2016.

Charlie Whitmarsh, Frontier – Founder Member Representative

Having studied agriculture, trained as an agronomist and achieved BASIS and FACTS qualifications, Charlie began his career with UAM at Redhill in 1984. The company was later acquired by Cargill Plc, where Charlie became regional sales manager for East Anglia and the South East. He took on the role of business manager for the northern region, based in Lincolnshire, in 1995 and relocated to West Sussex three years later to manage the southern region.

On the creation of Frontier Agriculture in 2005, he became arable inputs director, with the title changing to crop production director in 2014. Charlie is responsible for crop production strategy, coordinating agronomy, seed and fertiliser.

Dr Ian Campbell – Director for Health and Life Sciences

Dr Ian Campbell is an experienced executive in the life sciences. Ian joined Innovate UK in October 2016 as Director for Health and Life Sciences. Prior to that, he most recently served as Chief Executive of Arquer Diagnostics, a company developing and commercialising immunoassay tests for cancers of the urinogenitary tract. He was also Chief Executive of Imperial College spin-out company Molecular Vision, developing a disposable, quantitative point-of-care diagnostic platform, before the company was acquired by Abingdon Health in 2012. Ian has also served as Commercial Director with Bespak Europe. Ian has a strong scientific background, gaining his PhD at the University of Glasgow.

Mark Turner – BEIS Representative

Mark is an experienced civil servant having worked for BEIS and its predecessors including the DTI for more than twenty years. Mark works in the Agri-tech, Bio economy and Chemicals branch of the Infrastructure and Materials directorate.

Before broadening his portfolio to include Agri-tech and Bio economy sectors Mark has been focussed on supporting the chemical industries and spent a number of years working in small business enterprise policy on business support and on access to finance measures for small businesses.

Mark joined the Civil service in 1989 and spent two years with the MoD before transferring to the then DTI to work on collaborative R&D programmes and manufacturing change programmes. Throughout his career as a civil servant mark has been a champion of manufacturing and he believes strongly in the need to rebalance the economy and for the UK to grow its manufacturing base.

Ian Cox- Innovate UK Observer

Ian joined Innovate UK in March 2015 as Innovation Lead, Agri-Tech Centres within the Agri-Food team. Ian is leading the roll out of a £90 million capital programme for the development of a number of Centre’s for Agricultural Innovation as part of the UK’s Strategy for Agricultural Technologies. With matched industry funding this programme will create a series of leading edge Centres to make the UK the “go to” place for applied agricultural technology research and innovation.

Before joining Innovate UK, Ian worked at The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), in a variety of roles ranging from business development to science support; helping to develop the science pursued by the agencies scientists with it’s customers including winning several £multi-million contracts. Prior to working at Fera Ian held a number of senior positions within the water and environmental industries. With a Degree in Microbiology from the University of Leeds, Ian also has an MBA from Sheffield Business School, is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Biologist and is a registered PRINCE 2 Project Management Practitioner.