FAI Farms, a global food system consultancy, data and education business working in partnership with major brands, has announced the appointment of James Banfield as director and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

James Banfield is an accomplished business executive with 30 years of experience building, managing and growing data analytics, education and publishing businesses across financial, aquaculture, agriculture and veterinary industries.

James Banfield

Prior to joining FAI, Banfield oversaw the growth and development of Benchmark PLC’s Knowledge Services Division from a small web business to a division with £20 million plus turnover and double-digit growth and profitability.

Before that, Banfield spent 12 years at Financial Times Group and six years at Pearson as a managing director, editor and publisher. He has worked in London, Boston, Hong Kong, Manila and Bangkok.

Øistein Thorsen, CEO of FAI Farms, said:

“James is an extraordinary leader, and we are proud to have him on the team. He brings with him a wealth of international operational business expertise that will help us deliver our ambitious strategy of growing our impact on the global food chain.

“We are particularly excited about his expertise in product development within the fields of data analytics and e-learning, two of our key strategic growth areas.

James is joining the team at an exciting time for FAI. Six months ago we successfully completed a management buy-out.

“With a strengthened management team, alongside new hires in the data analytics team, we are now set to deliver our ambitious strategy for 2021.”

James Banfield said: “FAI is in many ways a unique business and team.

“It has a clear ambition to influence and shape our food chain for the better for people, animals and the environment. I am excited about being part of the team that delivers that change.”