AHDB restructure sees new leadership team established

Three senior operational appointments complete the newly restructured six-strong leadership team at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

Richard Laverick will be the Chief Technical Officer leading all the R&D and Knowledge Exchange work undertaken for the dairy, pork, beef & lamb, horticulture, potato and cereals & oilseeds sectors. His appointment is effective from Monday 5 October 2015.

Tom Hind joins as the Chief Strategy Officer responsible for leading on strategic planning, overseeing the relationship management with AHDB’s six sector advisory boards, and for developing AHDB’s Market Intelligence offering. His appointment is effective from Monday 5 October 2015.

Christine Watts has been appointed as Chief Communications and Market Development Officer to lead a more joined up approach on AHDB’s export and domestic market development work and to bring in a step change around making AHDB’s advice and information more accessible both via digital and more traditional channels. Her start date is still to be confirmed.

Jane King, AHDB Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted to welcome Tom, Richard and Christine. Together they bring a wealth of leadership experience and skills to our new top team, and will work with our staff to create a step change in AHDB activity. Our focus is firmly on delivering value for money, avoiding duplication and working smarter – taking us towards becoming a centre of agricultural excellence for our levy payers.”

The AHDB Leadership Team consists of the Chief Executive, The Chief Strategy Officer, The Chief Technical Officer, The Chief Communications and Market Development Officer, The Chief Finance Officer and the Chief HR Officer. The latter two are already in post – Chis Goodwin and Rebecca Geraghty, respectively.

Richard Laverick, AHDB Chief Technical Officer

Richard Laverick is an experienced senior manager and leader with a strong technical agricultural background.

He joined AHDB in 2013 to establish a regional team and implement a network of monitor farms and arable business groups across the country. Previously he was with ADAS for more than 20 years where he held senior management and leadership positions in both the research and consultancy elements of the business. These have included management of crop science and environmental research and line management of dairy consultancy and livestock research teams.

Richard holds a first degree in Biological Sciences, an MSc in Organisational Change and is a graduate of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership.

Tom Hind, AHDB Chief Strategy Officer

Tom Hind is an experienced and respected figure in British agriculture with a strong track record of leadership and strategy development and interaction with senior decision makers in Government, EU institutions and major UK food companies.

Most recently Tom was the Agriculture Director for Tesco where he was responsible for the development and delivery of Tesco’s agricultural strategy and building stronger relationships with farmers and growers. Prior to that Tom had more than 15 years of experience working for the National Farmers Union in roles including Director of Corporate Affairs and Head of Economic and International Affairs.

Tom was brought up working on his uncle’s cattle farm in Sheffield and later spent a year working on a dairy farm in France, before joining the NFU in 1998. He is fluent in French and is a Trustee of Forage Aid, a charity that supports farmers through natural disasters.

Christine Watts, AHDB Chief Communications and Market Development Officer

Christine Watts is an energetic and experienced strategic marketing and communications professional who also has a strong track record of team building and leadership within complex organisation structures.

After graduating from Cranfield University with an MSc in Marketing, Christine has built a career in marketing and communications for global IT organisations and more recently with the NHS at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and then Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust.

Christine grew up on a Warwickshire livestock farm, was chair of her local Young Farmer’s Club, and is now married to an arable farmer growing more than 2000 acres of cereals and potatoes in Northamptonshire.

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