Five new board members for AHDB Potatoes

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AHDB Potatoes has announced the addition of five new members to its board, replacing five members who came to the end of their service this March.

The new members are Daniel Metheringham, Jonathan Papworth, Andrew Skea, Will Shakeshaft, and Michael Welham.

Will Shakeshaft says farming has been ‘in his blood’ since he spent many hours working on the Lancashire mosses from a young age. Now, with 17 years the potato processing sector working with growers and retailers, he is a director of Greens of Soham, currently heading up the Spearhead potatoes processing division.

Daniel Metheringham is head of agriculture for McCain Foods and previously worked for Branston Ltd, Lincoln. His responsibilities include the purchasing of potatoes, setting standards in crop husbandry and ensuring that there is a reliable supply of high quality seed for the McCain grower community. After nearly 20 years in the sector, Daniel says he enjoys providing growers with a platform to invest and improve.

Michael Welham manages potato production for Strutt and Parker covering 400ha in Essex and Suffolk for both packing and crisping.  He has been in the industry more than 18 years and a dedicated grower since 2008, supplying from July through until May with salad and main crop varieties on medium to heavy silty clay loam soils.

Andrew Skea has been selling ware seed potatoes to customers across Europe for more than a decade, from a family farm that specialised in potatoes and veg long before that. SOPA-registered organic, Skea Organics supplies a wide range of new, specialist, and heritage potatoes. Andrew is chair of the Pre Basic Growers Association.​

Jonathan Papworth is a 4th generation potato farmer, Managing Partner of his family farming business and joint MD of Fen Edge Farming in Cambridgeshire. He specialises in the production of main crop potatoes for the pre-pack, processing and chipping market and has considerable experience of operating in the contract and free-buy supply chain.

Speaking of the appointments Rob Clayton, Strategy Director for AHDB Potatoes said: “The new board members provide AHDB Potatoes with a link to industry. This is as crucial as ever; in what is a rapidly changing marketplace due to the uncertainty created by Brexit. The incoming individuals, particularly when combined with the existing board representatives, give AHDB the benefit of experience and new perspectives from across the sector as well as good geographical coverage from around the levy paying area. Our board is a vital part of delivering our strategy and I am looking forward to working with our new members.”

AHDB will be announcing a new chair of the potatoes board later this year.

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