I started work at FCT as their Chief Executive on the 20th June and was straight into Groundswell. This was the best ever introduction to the tremendous staff who are the Farm Carbon Toolkit. I have been involved with the organisation as a Director since 2017, and when the opportunity arose to become more involved as their Chief Executive I jumped at the chance. Over the last five years I have seen just how the FCT has developed and grown, but always with the key mission to support farmers and growers to understand their farm carbon footprint and to assist them in responding positively to the climate and nature crises we are in.
At Groundswell, I saw first hand the solid commitment from the team, but also the high regard with which the team is held by so many of the farmers and growers who came to see us on stand, as well as other sector businesses and organisations.
At this point in time it feels critical to me to use all my knowledge and experience, gained over my career in agriculture, to play my best part in supporting the UK agri-food sector to transition towards much ower emission food production, whilst reversing the decline in nature and keeping farmers in business. I believe that being involved with FCT on this journey is where my role is most usefully suited.
My vision for FCT is that we grow our capability to support farmers and growers to transition towards more agroecological farming systems, through ensuring that our carbon calculator is always the first choice for farmers and growers and through providing the kind of advice and assistance which works for them. We are already the most popular calculator with UK farmers and we want to keep it that way.
I also want FCT to play its part in helping policy makers to understand the role of farm businesses in esponding positively to the climate and nature crisis and to provide the kind of support which is vital to enable them to do this. FCT is already a trusted advisor to many of the largest estates in the country as well as Councils and National Parks. However, I believe we can do much more to support adoption at scale of effective ways to monitor and benchmark farm environmental performance and support key innovators to understand the potential impact of their work on reducing farm level emissions. It really is exciting, but at the same time I am so aware of the urgency to change fast, and for the changes to work within a landscape of viable farm businesses.
I am hoping that all my experience with the Soil Association as their Farming and Land Use Director over the last eight years, my work on supporting farmer and supply chain collaboration at the English Food and Farming Partnerships, and my great start in this industry with ADAS in a number of roles, alongside being a farmer myself will stand me in good stead as I embark on this exciting and tremendous role.