Chair - Charles Cowap • Harper Adams University & Independent Consultant
Charles specialises in rural estate economics and strategy, valuation and taxation. He is a Chartered Surveyor and agricultural valuer, now very active in the translation of new knowledge into rural professional practice working with clients countrywide. He is rural correspondent for the Estates Gazette. Charles grew up in central London, before practical farming experience in Suffolk, studying at the Royal Agricultural University and qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor and land agent in 1983. He is author of two RICS papers on natural capital.
Presenter - Detlef Shoen • Head of Real Assets • Insight Investment
Detlef joined Insight in August 2017 as Head of Real Assets. Detlef is responsible for all aspects of Insight’s farmland capability. Detlef has more than four decades of experience in global farming and a multi-billion dollar track record as a senior agribusiness executive. Prior to joining Insight, he was invested in and personally managing grass-fed beef farms in Australia, having led the farmland investment team at Aquila Capital. At Aquila, he was responsible for implementing a US$500m investment plan, mostly in New Zealand where, at the time, he was responsible for the largest foreign investment in New Zealand agriculture and now is a permanent resident. He started his career with Cargill where he was in charge of the European grain trading business – at the time the leading exporter of grains from the EU and a significant country merchant in the UK. He then ran his own grain origination company and later the global grain book for NIDERA - at the time the sixth largest grain trader worldwide. Detlef is widely known for his thought leadership and is highly respected in the global institutional investment world for farmland and agribusiness.
Presenter - Archie Ruggles-Brise • Owner • Spains Hall Estate
With a varied set of interests, Archie’s key motivator is a belief that rural business has a sustainable future incorporating natural capital investments into rural businesses. He is a partner in a family-run farming estate in Essex, incorporating holiday lets, fishing, horse riding, campsite, wildlife photography and events. Archie is involved in developing and supporting river-related environmental and other work in Essex. He is a trustee of the Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust, member of the East Suffolk Catchment Partnership, national Committee member of the CLA.
Panellist - Mark Pope • Farmer and Chairman of the NFU’s Environment Forum
Mark Pope is the NFU’s Environment Forum Chairman and farms 700 acres of arable land in the Blackdown AONB, Somerset. Mark recognises that the environment is key to farming’s productive potential. Over the years, better use of resources, participation in agri-environment schemes, his own voluntary activities through the Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE) and involvement in natural flood management schemes have resulted in a number of environmental benefits, alongside his commercial farming activities. Mark is also involved in hosting and arranging school visits to farms and last year arranged for over 2000 school children to go out on visits.
Alice Midmer • LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming)
Alice Midmer oversees the Integrated Farm Management Programme at Linking Environment and Farming. LEAF works with farmers, the food industry, scientists and consumers to inspire and enable sustainable farming. This involves working closely with our producers, providing them with the right tools and services to make meaningful changes on the ground and inspiring retailers and consumers in pursuit of the ultimate goal - a more sustainable and resilient food and farming chain.
Angela Francis • Chief Economist • Green Alliance
Angela joined Green Alliance in April 2015 to provide economic analysis and insight across all themes and areas of policy. She develops the economic case for a sustainable economy through her work on low carbon energy, infrastructure, and natural environment and leads Green Alliance’s work on industrial strategy and resource efficiency. Before joining Green Alliance, Angela spent three years in Trinidad and Tobago, working for the University of the West Indies and as Regional Economist for the Caribbean at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.