AF appoints former DHL CEO to its board of directors following AGM

AF has appointed former head of logistics firm DHL Perry Watts and Northamptonshire farmer William Rice as Directors following its annual general meeting on Friday 29 June.

Mr Watts has had a 40-year career in the supply chain and logistics industry starting as a driver and working his way up through the ranks holding various roles before being appointed chief executive officer UK and Ireland for DHL. AF member Mr Rice and his family have diversified their farming business to create a large and successful golf centre.

AF chief executive Jon Duffy said: “The Group is delighted to welcome Perry and William to the board. Their appointments increase the commercial insight and experience we have available to the business.

“As we look to achieve the ambitious targets on membership, the balance sheet, and financial returns to members set out in our five-year strategy, having a board that will push AF to offer the highest quality and value products to its members, while ensuring we continue to provide excellent service, is vital.”

Perry Watts said: “I am delighted to be joining the AF board.  I have had a long-standing interest in the agricultural sector and very much look forward to working with the AF team and its members.

“My career has allowed me to work across many different industry sectors, for example automotive, retail, pharmaceuticals, and technology; all require a strong customer focus and operate in a highly commercial environment.

“The supply chain sits at the heart of any business and is uniquely placed to deliver significant value.  It is this experience and subsequent different perspectives I will bring which will help support the highly competent AF team and its members deliver their goals.”

William Rice said: “As a member myself, I understand AF’s need to balance heritage with modern practice ensuring it continues its relevancy and purpose in an evolving landscape. AF’s commitment to delivering value to its members is something I have always admired and I am honoured to be joining the board and working alongside such a dynamic leadership team.”

The appointments follow the retirement of Directors Keith Thompson and Peter Crick from the board. The process to find their replacements was conducted by AF Independent Director and Groceries Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon.

AF’s annual general meeting also saw the full annual accounts approved. Turnover in 2017/18 was £255m, while payments to members rose to £606,000 – an increase of 15% compared to the previous financial year.



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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.