Former NFU president takes on chairmanship of Organic Research Centre

The Organic Research Centre (ORC) is delighted to announce the appointment of former NFU president, Tim Bennett as the new chair of its Council of Management.

His appointment follows the planned retirement of longstanding chair, Mike Turnbull, who has spent the past eight years both as a trustee and chair of ORC, the UK’s leading independent research centre for organic food production and land management.

Tim Bennett brings more than 40 years’ experience in the food and farming supply chain. As well as running an organic farm in south Wales, he has served as NFU President and as chair of the Food Standards Agency.

Currently, Bennett is the chair of the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Livestock; working with twelve University partners and Innovate UK to invest in new applied livestock research capabilities around the UK. This investment of over £70m is the largest in new livestock applied research capacity for a generation and the successful partnership has resulted in the largest alliance of livestock researchers in Europe.

Bennett said: “It was a great honour to be asked to take over the chair of the ORC. I want to thank Mike Turnbull for his incredible efforts over the last few years on behalf of ORC and particularly over the last year in delivering the farm sale that has created the opportunity to invest funds to create a more sustainable organisation.

“I am a first-generation farmer with a mainly organic grassland farm near Carmarthen in South Wales very close to the National Botanic Garden of Wales (which is also organic). We converted to organic production 13 years ago.

“The ORC is implementing a robust strategy that will make our organisation even more relevant as the UK moves to a more sustainable farming future. Our business plan recognises the value of building solid partnerships that are focussed on carrying out the right research and sharing it with the relevant audiences.”

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