Horticulture specialist becomes youngest ever AHDB board member

UK Ministers have appointed a new member of the board of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), who will also chair its Horticulture Sector Board.

Hayley Campbell-Gibbons will take up her post from November 1, 2018. Her appointment will run until October 31, 2021.

At 36, Ms. Campbell-Gibbons is the youngest board member in AHDB’s history.

She brings 15 years’ experience in rural affairs – including over a decade as the chief policy adviser to the National Farmers Union (NFU), where she specialised in horticulture from 2011 onwards.

Campbell-Gibbons has represented farmers’ and growers’ interests at UK and EU level, spearheading strategic movements including Catalyst for Change, The Code of Trading Practice for Ornamentals and the NFU’s campaign for a new seasonal agriculture workers scheme.

She was a board member of the Gangmaster Licensing Authority (GLA) from 2011-2014. She has a Master’s degree in Rural Policy, co-founded an award-winning coffee business in 2005, and has extensive national media experience.

This appointment has 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.

Ms. Campbell-Gibbons said: “I look forward to helping AHDB make a real difference for UK horticulture and agriculture as we manage our way through Brexit and into a new trading environment, and, in particular, to working with the British horticulture sector as it deals with pressures on margins, challenges around labour availability, and concerns over crop protection.

I also want to listen to growers, and work with them to identify ways of maximising productivity and fulfilling our potential as a sector.”

AHDB chairman Peter Kendall said: “Hayley is experienced and respected in the industry and is another welcome asset to the AHDB Board at what is a pivotal time for the farming and food sector.”

This appointment is governed by the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments and is made on merit.

The board member and sector chairman position receive non-pensionable remuneration of £32,000 a year based on a minimum time commitment of 104 days.