Organic Research Centre appoints Lucy MacLennan as new chief executive

The Organic Research Centre (ORC) has announced the appointment of Nuffield Scholar Lucy MacLennan as its new chief executive.

MacLennan brings over 25 years’ experience to the role, including senior leadership and management positions for global retailers and food producers such as Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer.

While working as a senior consultant in food quality, food safety, and food supply chain integrity and innovation, she is also a non-executive director and chair of the fresh produce board at Red Tractor Assurance.

“I’m thrilled and excited to be appointed chief executive at the ORC,” said MacLennan. “The work of the organisation to redesign and deliver better farming systems based on organic and agro-ecological principles offers real value to our society. 

“I don’t think there’s ever been a time where emphasis on the development of sustainable agricultural practices and organic production methods has been more important.  With public awareness of climate change and the environment at an all-time high, there’s enormous potential to further develop the work of the ORC and extend its potential reach and impact.

“I’m a scientist at heart, so the chance to marry my personal interests and business experience in order to lead such a fantastic and well-respected team at the ORC is a real privilege and I’m committed to continue to build on its pioneering work.”

Mike Turnbull, chairman at the ORC, says MacLennan’s new position marks a significant change in the ORC’s approach to appointing a chief executive.

“The ORC’s unique contribution to organic and agro-ecological practice is its ability to combine scientific excellence with practical experience to deliver real benefits on the ground. In searching for the right candidate, we prioritised broad experience in both farming and the wider food industry, given our strong and respected research capability.

“We also sought an individual with a strong track record in the environmental and sustainability field, with shared values and excellent communication skills. We very much looking forward to MacLennan starting her new role and the undoubted value she’ll bring to the ORC,” saidTurnbull.

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