New AHDB Pork sector chair appointed

The government has appointed two new members to the board of the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), one of which will be chair of the pork sector. 

Sophie Churchill OBE and Mike Sheldon will have oversight of the strategic direction for the whole organisation, as well the additional responsibility to be chair of its Potato Sector Board and chair of its Pork Sector Board respectively, with immediate effect for three years.

They replace Fiona Fell (potatoes) and Meryl Ward (pork), who finished their terms in office on 31 March 2017.

AHDB chairman Peter Kendall said: “I’m delighted to welcome Sophie and Mike to the AHDB board. They join at a significant time for AHDB as we look to deliver a fresh strategy to inspire the food and farming industry to respond to the challenges of Brexit and changing domestic and international markets.”

The appointments have been made jointly by Ministers in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for Northern Ireland.

Mike Sheldon is a director and proprietor of a wine importing and online retail business. He is a non-executive director of Assured Food Standards and chairman of its pig sector board. He is chairman of the Real Welfare Steering Group for pigs in the UK and a former chief executive of the National Pig Association.

From 1982 to 1996, Mike worked for pig genetics company PIC, taking on various roles, from production manager for the UK to marketing manager for Europe, before leaving to set up his own farrow-to-finish pig production company, which he ran for 18 years.

He said: “I am very pleased to be joining the AHDB Board at this important time and to also be leading the Pork Sector Board. I am passionate about British farming, food and drink and I believe that AHDB can deliver a difference for UK agriculture as we manage our way through Brexit and into a new trading environment.”

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