The former editor of Farmers Weekly,Jane King, a Member of the Guild, has been appointed Chief Executive of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the UK-wide Levy Board that supports farming sectors with research, knowledge transfer and marketing expertise.
During her time at Farmers Weekly, Jane oversaw a repositioning of the title, revitalising its products, developing new services and overseeing organisational change, and as a senior executive at Reed Business Information (RBI) for more than 30 years, she has also significant experience providing information and services to a range of industries as diverse as retail, health, social care, employment law and hospitality.
AHDB Chairman, Sir Peter Kendall, says: “Jane has enormous knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for our industry and the Board and I are delighted to welcome her to AHDB. Her communication skills and experience of both repositioning and leading a well-known agricultural service brand through a period of change means she will be able to lead AHDB through an important period as it works towards becoming a centre of excellence for the UK industry.”
Andy Robertson, the NFU’s director general says: “Jane King has been a champion of British farming in her role as the editor of Farmers Weekly so I am sure she will bring that passion and enthusiasm to the AHDB.
“With global food security being the one of the biggest challenges we face, I look forward to working with Jane and her team to ensure British farmers have access to all of the tools they need to thrive; world-beating technology and innovation, increased uptake of this technology and new skills on farms and access to the most effective market intelligence.”
Jane, who takes up her post at the beginning of February, comments: “I am hugely excited and feel extremely privileged to be leading the AHDB through the next stage of its development. UK agriculture is at a turning point and I believe it has enormous potential.
“The AHDB is an organisation with phenomenal talent and resources supporting farmers, growers and the wider supply chain. I’m really looking forward to driving AHDB forward with the team and the wider industry.”
AHDB covers about 75% of total UK agricultural output through its six branded divisions: BPEX and EBLEX for pig meat and beef and lamb in England; HDC for commercial horticulture, DairyCo for milk and Potato Council for potatoes throughout Great Britain; and HGCA for cereals and oilseeds throughout the UK.
All have communications staff, most of whom are Members of the Guild, now located together for the first time in new £5m leased offices at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, now the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre.