Upskilling agriculture and food supply—where should charities focus? 

AFCP Annual Forum- 10.30am Wednesday, 23rd November 2016 to be held at the SCOPE, 6 Market Road, London N7 9PW

The AFCP’s  9th Annual Forum is the fourth in a series which has been focusing on the support charities can provide to ensure that the agrifood industry is recruiting, training and keeping appropriately qualified staff at all levels. 


To consider the strategic direction of the agri-food industry and the opportunities for charities in supporting this direction, particularly in relation to the level and type of skills required.


10.30   Arrive and coffee

11.00   Introduction                                                                                                                                                                         John Reynolds (Chairman AFCP).

Following a successful career as a Business Director in ICI’s Agriculture Division John held various Directorships with agricultural companies including First for Farming. He has been both Chairman of the Farmers Club and is a past Master of the Worshipful Company of Farmers.

11.05   Forum chairman                                                                                                                                                                 Prof. Peter Mills (HAU)
Peter is a trained plant pathologist with a PhD from Imperial College London. He became a research director at Horticulture Research International in Wellesbourne with responsibility for a large number of research groups as well as teaching at the faculty of agriculture, Queens University Belfast. He then spent six years at the University of Warwick leading research on the impact of diseases on the rural economy. Currently Peter is Vice Principal at Harper Adams University with specific responsibility for teaching and research activity

11.10   What skills are needed to sustain successfully our changing industry?                                                                      Philip Wynn (WCF)
Recently appointed Master of the Worshipful Company of Farmers, since 1983 Philip has managed Sir Henry Nevile’s Estate at Aubourn.  He also manages and advises on a diverse portfolio of businesses covering in excess of 60,000 acres of farming where over 1000 staff are employed from gang workers to Managing Directors. His consultancy business provides clients with cost effective, practical solutions individually tailored to their specific needs. 

11.40   How is the machinery industry training staff to have the right skills?                                                                          Richard Charles (Valtra)

Richard is the Field Service Manager for Valtra, UK and Ireland

12.00   How is the food sector meeting the challenge for skilled staff?                                                                                     Prof. Val Braybrooks (University of Lincoln)
Dean of Holbeach Campus, and heads The National Centre for Food Manufacturing, where she leads the University’s work for Food Manufacturing sector, working in partnership with employers and support organisations from across the UK to advance skills, innovation and research. She was awarded the MBE in 2010 for her contribution to building educational opportunities for the food industry’s workforce.

12.20   Are there appropriate educational initiatives and opportunities?                                                                                   Sarah Purnell (NLBC)

Sarah Purnell  has recently been appointed at Programme Development Manager for the National land Based College. This College is an employer led organisation with the primary goal to engage land based industries far more in education, training, skills development and careers promotion. It looks to work with existing initiatives, add value and stimulate the development of new joint working, collaborations and partnerships.

12.40   How can charities help industry deliver the right skills?                                                                                                Scott Norris (Perry Foundation)

Scott is Trustee Director and Chairman of the Perry Foundation, Scott graduated in Agriculture from the University of Nottingham. He has since farmed in partnership with his family in South Essex. In 1992 he was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to travel to the United States of America.

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Discussion Forum                                                                                                                                                                 Prof. Peter Mills
Audience questions/comment with all speakers as a panel.
Peter Mills will manage the discussion session so that issues raised are addressed and to provide a constructive summing up focusing on tangible outcomes.

15.00   AFCP AGM and CEO Report followed by tea

15.30   Tea & depart

AFCP member organisations are entitled to one free delegate; rate for other delegates is £30.

Please contact [email protected]  or telephone 01234 750876 if you wish to register for this event.