New Board Members for AHDB Dairy

Published 25 April 18

AHDB has announced that Peter Rees, Scott Shearlaw, Andrew Fletcher and David Craven have been appointed as new members of its Dairy Board.

They will join the existing Dairy Board members in assisting chairman Gwyn Jones to develop a strategy for Dairy against a backdrop of Brexit, global price volatility, technological innovation and changing habits of British shoppers.

The four new members replace Keith Davies, Chris James and Peter Nicholson, whose terms of office ended on 31 March 2018. 

The AHDB Dairy Board has 11 members, including chairman Gwyn Jones. As well as setting the strategy for Dairy it approves annual budgets and activity plans.

AHDB is funded by the collection of statutory financial levies, which are used to carry out Research & Development, Market Intelligence, Knowledge Exchange, Marketing and Export activities to support the sectors to become truly world class.

AHDB Dairy Chairman Gwyn Jones says: "The experience and expertise in the different systems that David Craven and Andrew Fletcher bring to the AHDB Dairy Board will strengthen it further and add to the weight of discussion.

“Peter Rees is very well connected both with Welsh government and industry and has great experience in academia, which will help us move faster. Scott Shearlaw has experience outside farming, is a progressive dairy farmer and a young man who will bring plenty of challenge to the Board and some constructive and well thought out ides for the future.

“Each of the new members will provide experience and insight that will add to the expertise we already have on the Dairy Board. I look forward to them all playing an active part in AHDB’s progress and work across Scotland, Wales and England.”

Peter, Scott, Andrew and David’s term of office started on 1 April 2018.

Peter ReesBoard Member - Peter Rees

Peter’s family run a 300 cow dairy enterprise and he is co-owner and Director, along with his brother, of a five-star touring caravan park in Llandovery, Carmarthenshire. He lectured at the Welsh Agricultural College before moving to Coleg Sir Gar where he established the Dairy Development Centre at its Gelli Aur Campus.  

He’s an independent member of the Welsh Agricultural Advisory Panel and the Farming Connect Strategic Board and chairs the Farming Connect Training sub group. He is also the Lantra Wales Chair.

Peter says: “In an ever challenging commercial environment it is vital that dairy producers are able to access the services and guidance that they need to drive their businesses forward. I look forward to working with AHDB Dairy to ensure that dairy farmers in Wales are getting services that meet their specific business and environmental needs within the broader post Brexit environment.

“I’m particularly interested in seeing how AHDB Dairy can influence the public image of the dairy sector and its products not only to potential consumers but also to new entrants into the sector.

Scott ShearlawBoard Member - Scott Shearlaw

Scott is based in South Ayrshire, Scotland. He farms 500 acres in partnership with his parents, milking 330 mainly crossbred cows in a split block calving system. Previously he worked as a Construction Project Manager for a global construction and property company, and was recently part of the Nestle Next Generation Leaders Programme, which inspired him to apply for this position. 

“I’m pleased to join the AHDB Dairy board. I’ve used the services AHDB Dairy provide extensively over the last five years and as a result I’m both passionate about how it can be used by Dairy Farmers to improve their businesses and well placed to influence improvement,” explains Scott.

“As the industry looks ahead to the probable volatility caused by Brexit, AHDB can play an important role in helping farmers navigate the challenges and opportunities it will create, particularly through the Optimal Dairy Systems and the Strategic Dairy Farm programmes.”

Andrew FletcherBoard Member - Andrew Fletcher

Andrew owns and runs Grasslands Farming Ltd, a multi farm contract dairy farming business with 2,000 New Zealand bred cows, located in Cheshire and Shropshire. All farms are blocked calved in spring or autumn, supplying Muller on supermarket contracts and Arla manufacturing.

The company has been looking at the implementation of Lean Management principles onto dairy farms. Andrew has recently been appointed as a governor of Reaseheath College. 

Andrew says: “I’m looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that face the dairy industry going forward.

“Improving our productivity has to be achieved by the people involved with the industry and AHDB dairy must be at the forefront of this knowledge transfer and research. This will lead our competitive advantage in a world market and resilience we‘ll require for bold change in how we farm in the future.”

David CravenBoard Member - David Craven

David is a Dairy Manager in Cheshire, where he led a team to research, design and create a state of the art dairy unit, which now houses 2,000 cows, All Year Round calving.

David has also been responsible for a 600 acre mixed arable and sheep farm in Devon, before joining his current farm on the arable side. He’s also project managed providing new facilities for bulls and the progeny testing scheme for breeding company Cogent.

David says: “I’m delighted to be accepted as a dairy board member for the AHDB and hope my experience will add value to the current board. We’re approaching very uncertain times, with Brexit looming, so it’s important that bodies such as the AHDB are helping to support, promote and strengthen our industry.”

- Ends -

The new AHDB Dairy Board is comprised of:

Gwyn Jones (chairman)

David Cotton

David Craven

Andrew Fletcher

Oliver Hall

Tim Gue

Janette Prince

Mary Quicke

Peter Rees

Scott Shearlaw

Richard Soffe