James Forknall, Chairman Kent County Agricultural Society
James was appointed Chairman of the Kent County Agricultural Society Board in 2019. His family have farmed in Chart Sutton since 1953 and he set up his own contracting business at the age of 18. He now farms about 1400 acres of combinable crops and Forage Maize for his father’s dairy herd, as well as contract farming for others and runs the ever-growing Contract Business. James was Maidstone NFU branch Chairman for 2 years and held the roles of both Chairman and President of the Weald of Kent Ploughing Match.
Douglas Horner, Rural Policy Group
Dougegic Board and Vice Chairman of Kent and Medway Economic Partnership, and formerly a Partner of Brachers solicitors, legal advisor to South East NFU and Kent County Agricultural Society of which he became a Director, Chairman of Canterbury Farmers’ Club and member of the CBI South East Council.
Douglas is passionate about the rural agenda . He will speak for rural business including presenting some of the recommendations from the Rural Conference held in Kent by the Rural Policy Group in January 2019.
Leading Speaker on Food Fraud
Chris Crowley, Head of Prevention, National Food Crime Unit (Food Standards Agency)
Chris has worked in fraud prevention and business ethics leadership roles in large justice sector agencies in the UK and New Zealand since 2010. He has delivered fraud risk management and fraud prevention initiatives in diverse operational organisations including the UK National Crime Agency and the New Zealand Department of Corrections. Chris joined the National Food Crime Unit in February 2019 as Head of Prevention. A fundamental aspect of his role is to work with industry, supporting businesses to manage their risk of exposure to food crime.
Food fraud is a fundamental issue that affects us all in the world. We will hear a leading perspective in the industry and what can be done about it.
Mario Caccamo - Managing Director of NIAB EMR
NIAB EMR is a major research organisation based in East Malling (Kent) focused on innovation for horticultural crops. NIAB EMR delivers knowledge, products and services that provide profitable innovation through the application of plant-based research. NIAB EMR also leads the development of the ‘Growing Kent & Medway’ cluster which has been awarded seed corn funding by UK Research & Innovation. Previously Professor Caccamo directed the Earlham Institute (formerly known as The Genome Analysis Centre) where he led the work to set up one of the largest European DNA sequencing and bioinformatics centres. Professor Caccamo completed a Ph.D. in theoretical computer science at BRICS, University of Aarhus (Denmark) and an MSc in computer science in the University of Campinas (UNICAMP, Brazil).
Animal food perspective
Nigel Baker - CEO Pet Industry Federation
Nigel joined the Pet Industry Federation (PIF) as its Chief Executive in 2012, having spent 35 years in the pet industry. In 1990, he left the family company and set up a marketing business supplying sales forces and POS merchandise to companies such as Beta Petfoods, Internet, Coca Cola, Panasonic and other well known brands. Simultaneously, having seen a gap in the pet industry, he started Supreme Petfoods. The business grew to £15m turnover during the following 14 years and employed over 100 people in two manufacturing plants and numerous sales offices in Europe and the USA
Question Time Panel - 'Brexit for Breakfast'
Questions will be selected from the audience as part of the standard format from the leading BBC current affairs program. This will be a spirited and challenging debate.
Lembit Opik, Presenter BBC Radio Kent; Chair - Question Time Panel.
Rob Verkerk, CEO International Alliance for Action on Preventative Health
MHA MH Representative from Business & Finance sectors
Steve Wood, Kent Farmers Market
Nigel Baker, CEO Pet Industry Federation
Phil Acock, CEO Fourayes Limited