Organic Research Centre appoints Lucy MacLennan as new CEO

The Organic Research Centre (ORC) is delighted to announce the appointment of Nuffield Scholar Lucy MacLennan as its new CEO.

Since the departure of long-standing and well-respected CEO Nic Lampkin last year, Stuart Rogers stepped in as interim CEO and continued to develop the strategic direction of the organisation until Ms MacLennan’s new appointment.

Ms MacLennan brings over 25 years’ experience in the fresh produce sector to the role, including senior leadership and management positions for global retailers and food producers such as Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Kettle Produce.

While working as a senior consultant in food quality, food safety, and food supply chain integrity and innovation, she is also a non-executive director and chair of the fresh produce board at Red Tractor Assurance.

“I’m thrilled and excited to be appointed CEO at the ORC,” says Ms MacLennan. “The work of the organisation to redesign and deliver better farming systems based on organic and agro-ecological principles offers real value to our society.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a time where emphasis on the development of sustainable agricultural practices and organic production methods has been more important.  With public awareness of climate change and the environment at an all-time high, there’s enormous potential to further develop the work of the ORC and extend its potential reach and impact.”

Since attaining a postgraduate diploma in agri-food and sustainable supply chains from the University of Nottingham last year, Ms MacLennan has been awarded a Nuffield Scholarship to investigate ‘audit and assurance’ in the fresh produce sector, including conflicting agendas between food safety requirements and sustainability initiatives.

“I’m a scientist at heart, so the chance to marry my personal interests and business experience in order to lead such a fantastic and well-respected team at the ORC is a real privilege and I’m committed to continue to build on its pioneering work.”

Mike Turnbull, chairman at the ORC, says Ms MacLennan’s new position marks a significant change in the ORC’s approach to appointing a CEO.

“The ORC’s unique contribution to organic and agro-ecological practice is its ability to combine scientific excellence with practical experience to deliver real benefits on the ground. In searching for the right candidate, we prioritised broad experience in both farming and the wider food industry, given our strong and respected research capability.

“We also sought an individual with a strong track record in the environmental and sustainability field, with shared values and excellent communication skills. We very much looking forward to Ms MacLennan starting her new role and the undoubted value she’ll bring to the ORC,” concludes Mr Turnbull.



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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.