Nick Douglas

Nick is Managing Director at G’s Growers Ltd.  He studied Agricultural Marketing and Business Administration at Harper Adams University from 1992-1995 before finding employment as a Production Assistant with Iberian Salads.  Subsequent roles have included Farm Manager at PDM Produce (a Shropshire vegetable and salad grower), Procurement Director and General Manager at Fisher Chilled Foods (a prepared fruit and vegetable packing company which was bought by Fresh Del Monte Inc. in 2002), and Head of Purchasing and General Manager at G’s, where he has worked since 2009.  Nick is also a Board Member for the British Onion Producers Association and Vice Chairman of the Board for the British Growers Association.

Bruce Napier

Bruce has been Vegetable Specialist at NIAB since 2005.  His role involves advising on vegetable varieties, vegetable research, selling trial services, budgeting contracts, managing delivery, labour and resources, reporting results to clients and the public, and liaising with the press.  He began working at NIAB in 1990, initially as a Cereal Pathologist – researching cereal pathogens, delivering contract trials in the Cereal Pathology team and managing contracts – a role which he held for 15 years.  Bruce combines his current role as Vegetable Specialist with several other NIAB responsibilities, namely Biological Safety Officer, Deputy Quality Manager and Pension Trustee.  He graduated from Anglia Ruskin University with a degree in Biological Sciences in 1990.

Matt Gregory

Matt has been Farm Manager for Velcourt since 1998, with responsibility for 1,300 hectares (ha) of irrigable land on the east coast of Suffolk.  Crops include 650 ha of cereals, 300 ha of potatoes, 200 ha of bulb onions and 150 ha of sugar beet.  He graduated from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, with a degree in Agriculture in 1994.

Mike Shapland

Mike is Farm Manager for James Foskett Farms in East Suffolk. The business grows 360 hectares of potatoes (including 100 hectares of certified seed), 160 hectares of onions, 120 hectares of organic vegetables, carrots, sugar beet and wheat and has a hydroponic salad enterprise. Having gained a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1993, Mike worked for the Cooperative Group for 13 years managing farm businesses in Cambridgeshire, Yorkshire and Cheshire. He then worked as an independent consultant to agricultural businesses in Russia, Poland, Bulgaria and UK before joining James Foskett Farms in 2010.

Ruth Ashfield

Ruth is the Head of Communications at HDC and is responsible for the strategic direction of Education, Skills and Careers, Impact Assessment, and all knowledge delivery and communication channel development.  She has over 20 years’ experience as a Communications Manager in the horticulture industry, specialising in developing and implementing strategic campaigns and communication programs linking research with the farmer and grower.  She began her career at HRI where she ran the grower liaison programme, managed internal communications and represented HRI at industry, board and policy groups.

Rob Honeysett

Rob is a Technologist for Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd.  He studied Horticulture at Wye College in Kent.

John Chinn

John is a Partner in Cobrey Farms, a 1,250 hectare family farm, growing 500 hectares of asparagus alongside blueberries, potatoes, combinable crops, rhubarb and a small vineyard.  John graduated from Nottingham University in 1973, where his project work under the late Professor Keith Scott instilled in him a lifetime fascination in potatoes and good science, especially when the two come together!   John is also President of the Cambridge University Potato Growers' Association (CUPGRA).

Ed Moorhouse

Ed is the Group Technical Director for G’s Fresh (The Shropshire Group).  He graduated from Wye College in 1985 with a degree in agriculture and completed his PhD in insect pathology at IHR in 1990.  He then joined the HDC and managed their research programme for 6 years.  He moved to Mack Multiples in 1997 and progressed to Technical Director.  He left Mack in 2006 and completed various consultancy projects, including work on carbon footprinting.  Ed joined G’s in 2007 and he has technical responsibility for the Group’s operations in the UK, Spain, Senegal, Czech Republic, Poland and USA.  He interfaces directly with UK retailers and ensures that the Group’s strategy is fully aligned with customer requirements in the delivery of leading food safety, technical, innovation, quality, environmental and ethical standards.