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Stackyard News Feb 2011

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Sir Ben Gill is New Chairman at NRM and Sciantec

NRM Laboratories and Sciantec Analytical Services are pleased to announce the appointment of Sir Ben Gill as the new chairman of their holding company Cawood Scientific Limited, which was the subject of a successful management buy-out at the end of last year.

Sir Ben Gill, new chairman of Cawood Scientific Limited in one of the company’s laboratories

Sir Ben Gill

Together NRM and Sciantec is the UK’s largest truly independent provider of accredited analytical laboratory testing services for the land-based sector.

Commenting on the appointment, which took effect at the beginning of the year, Managing Director Nigel Patrick said: “Sir Ben brings an enormous amount of expertise, experience and enthusiasm to the Board and has already made it plain that he intends to pay an active role in the development of the business.”

Many will remember Sir Ben as President of the National Farmers Union (NFU), a position he held for six years, stepping down in February 2004. Since then he has been extremely active taking on a number of chairman and non-executive director roles and establishing Hawkhills Consultancy. Through Hawkhills he advises the agrifood industry and the renewable energy sector and specialises in stimulating senior executives in ‘out of the box’ thinking. Amongst other current roles he is Chairman of Eden Research, a company developing the use of natural materials as pesticides and a Non-executive Director of Countrywide Farmers.

Sir Ben has a deep interest in renewable energy and has developed something of a reputation as a futurologist. Commenting on his new role he said: “The recently published Foresight Report has underlined the importance of sustainable intensification and, if farming is to intensify, then we must know what we are doing. As such, having detailed, reputable and accurate scientific information to underpin decisions will be essential.

“Overall, agriculture has a bright if volatile future,” he added. “Those businesses which have the information they need to hand will be the ones best able to deal with this volatility.”

Looking more specifically to the future for NRM and Sciantec Sir Ben said that the management team were in the exciting position of being able to sit down with a blank sheet of paper to look at how they can drive the business forward to become even more significant players in the analytical market place within the landbased industries.

New FD also appointed
The company has also appointed a new Finance Director, Richard Sowerby. Richard is Chartered Accountant who qualified with one of the world’s biggest accountancy firms, KPMG, spending nine years in the profession. He has since been Finance Director for a range of companies in the SME sector and already has an understanding of the analytical testing sector.

Cawood Scientific operates from two main facilities, NRM in Berkshire and Sciantec Analytical near Selby, North Yorkshire, both providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ of testing services for businesses engaged in the agricultural and environmental sectors and both with a high level of accreditation from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). NRM, specialises in the provision of a range of testing services for customers in the agriculture, horticulture, amenity, environmental and renewables (such as composted waste and anaerobic digestate) sectors. Sciantec provides a complete range of analytical services encompassing all aspects of animal nutrition and health as well as combinable crops.

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