Yorkshire farmer joins AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Sector Board

Yorkshire arable farmer Tony Bell has been appointed to the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Sector Board.

Mr Bell brings with him a wide span of experience including commodity purchasing and feed production and he now farms 250 all-arable hectares at Thorpefield in North Yorkshire in partnership with his wife and brother.

Martin Grantley-Smith, AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Sector Strategy Director said: “It’s great to have Tony’s experience as we focus on our priorities of improving on-farm productivity and competitiveness of UK grains.”

With a lifetime spent in the animal feed sector, Martin added, Tony will bring greater clarity to the production of feed grains, which accounts for about 63% of cereals production in the UK.

“Meeting the UK feed industry’s needs more closely will reduce waste in the supply chains and improve the UK’s competitiveness, and Tony will provide valuable advice to the Board on how AHDB can help bring this about.”

The Cereals & Oilseeds Sector Board helps the main AHDB Board and executive staff to prioritise the challenges facing that sector and develop the most appropriate strategies to meet them. It also ensures an appropriate levy rate is recommended to provide adequate funding for the work needed. There is a sector board for each of the six commodity areas represented by AHDB, with each board made up of levy payers from the sector and one or two independent members.

Mr Bell said: “On retiring from ForFarmers [a year ago], I felt I wanted to utilise my experience from the processing world,” Mr Bell said. “The opportunity to be on the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Board was unique as I felt I could contribute from my experience both in the animal feed sector and as a farmer.”

At ForFarmers, Mr Bell was responsible for the team buying the two million tonnes of raw materials required for the business; formulation of diets; and raw material logistics.

Mr Bell began his career with technical and commodity purchasing roles, including time in Rotterdam buying oils and fats in the Unilever head office. Returning to the UK, he managed a business crushing seed and upgrading raw feed materials, before being appointed purchasing director for BOCM PAULS, later rebranded ForFarmers.

Now the Yorkshire farmer is back to where he started, happily working on the family farm and looking forward to supporting UK agriculture, through AHDB and other associations.

Mr Bell said: “AHDB is highly respected, referred to, and quoted as an independent source of information on cereal varieties and market information. I think the Monitor Farm programme particularly has helped farmers to progress.

Martin-Grantley-Smith said: “AHDB’s priorities are very focussed on improving the UK grain industry’s competitive position, particularly in the light of certain post-Brexit scenarios. Improvements in on-farm productivity and enhanced supply chain performance are key to this and Tony brings considerable experience to AHDB to help us achieve this.”

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About The Author

Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.