Four New AHDB Board Members Appointed

The Government has appointed four new members to the Board of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) with effect from 1 April 2015.

George Lyon has been appointed as an independent member and Stuart Roberts, Paul Temple and Meryl Ward MBE, in addition to their corporate Board role, will also chair AHDB’s strategy boards for beef & lamb, cereals & oilseeds and pigs respectively.


They replace Tim Kelly (independent), John Cross (beef & lamb specialist), Jonathan Tipples (cereals & oilseeds specialist) and Stewart Houston (pig specialist) who all finish on 31 March 2015.

Stuart Roberts is stepping down from his part-time role at the meat processor ABP to enable him to concentrate on this AHDB Board role alongside his farming commitments.

AHDB Chairman Peter Kendall said:
“I’m delighted to welcome these four industry experts to the AHDB Board. They share my passion to both grow British agriculture and to develop AHDB into a leading centre for agricultural innovation.”

The appointments have been made jointly by Ministers in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland.

George Lyon said:
“I am delighted to be joining the board of AHDB at this important time. There is a massive task ahead of us in building AHDB into an organisation able to provide world class technical and marketing advice for farmers and growers in every part of the UK. I believe that is essential if UK agriculture is to be able to take on and win market share from our competitors around the world and I look forward to making a contribution to that goal.”

Stuart Roberts said:
“I am delighted to be taking up this opportunity with the AHDB and its beef and lamb Sector board. The next few years will see some big challenges and opportunities for British agriculture and I am looking forward to playing a part in helping lead AHDB’s strategy during this exciting period.”

Paul Temple said:
“As the industry faces real challenges of sustainable, competitive production in a fast-moving and uncertain global market, it is an exciting time to become a board member during AHDB’s next phase of development.”

Meryl Ward said:
“I am extremely excited by the opportunities for market development, innovation and growth for the industry, and look forward to working with AHDB to make this a reality for the pig sector.”

Peter Kendall added:
“I would like to thank John, Jonathan and Stewart for the massive contribution they have made to their respective sectors over many years. They have all been central figures in developing sector delivery from the very start of AHDB and pass on the opportunity to take AHDB to its next stage of development. And Tim, for his contribution as an independent member to the continued development of a sound governance structure at AHDB.”

George Lyon biography:
Mr Lyon was a member of the Scottish Parliament for Argyll & Bute (1999-2007) and served as deputy finance minister between 2005 and 2007. Prior to embarking on his political career, his long-term involvement with the National Farmers Union (NFU) led to him becoming President of NFU Scotland in 1998.

Elected to the European Parliament in 2009, Mr Lyon quickly became a prominent and influential member of the Agricultural and Rural Affairs committee and played a central role in negotiating key aspects of agreements on both CAP reform and the EU budget. He also worked on issues related to trade policy, with a particular focus on EU relations with the US and the emerging negotiations on TTIP.

George is a senior consultant for the agri-food practice of Hume Brophy.

Stuart Roberts biography:
Stuart Roberts has a degree in Agriculture and Business from the Welsh Institute of Rural Studies, is a Nuffield Farming Scholar and is a partner in an organic beef and cereal farming business in Hertfordshire and Kent.

Up until his appointment to the Board of AHDB, Stuart Roberts was Agriculture and Livestock Director at Anglo Beef Processors where he had responsibility for many aspects of the business.

Prior to this, he was Chief Executive of the British Meat Processors Association and spent eight years within the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs, involved with livestock policy.

Paul Temple biography:
Paul Temple is a tenant farmer in a family partnership that runs a 312 hectare farm, with beef cattle, cereals, oilseeds and vining peas in Driffield, East Yorkshire. The farm has participated in the GM Field Scale Evaluation trials and is part of the Higher Level Stewardship scheme.

He is a former NFU vice-president and former chairman of COPA/COGECA cereals, oilseeds and proteins group in Brussels. He was a founder of the European Biotech Forum. He was an AHDB cereals and oilseeds sector board member from 2013 to 2015 and currently sits on the National Non Food Crops Centre Board.

Meryl Ward MBE biography:
Meryl Ward and her husband Steve farm a large arable enterprise in Lincolnshire, with 2,200 sows, and run a successful farm shop and restaurant called Uncle Henry's.

She currently chairs the Lincolnshire Rural Support Network - a charity which provides practical support and advocacy to individuals in need in rural Lincolnshire.

She was a key member of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (now a committee) for many years, during which time it produced highly-acclaimed science-based reports for government. Meryl chaired the report ‘Farm Animal Welfare: Health and Disease.

She was a BPEX board member from 2003 to 2011 and played a key role on the welfare outcomes work stream, helping take research into welfare outcome measures into a ground breaking industry scheme for measuring real welfare indicators in farm animals. This work is at the forefront of animal welfare philosophy in the EU, where the emphasis is now moving to benchmarked, science-based animal-centric welfare indicators.

Meryl was awarded an MBE in 2013 for her work on pig welfare.


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