British Food & Farming Podcast: It’s not a case of ‘this’ OR ‘that’

14 Jun 2022 | Rural Business Podcast

Brand New Podcast Mini Series Launched 15th June 2022

In this exclusive, limited series brought to you by the Rural Business Group, the Nation’s Favourite Farmer, Gareth Wyn Jones, is joined by supply chain specialist Stephen Whyte as they aim to explore some of the most pressing challenges facing food production in light of the climate crisis and changing consumer preferences in food and drink consumption. The series will focus on the Future of Farming, debunking some of the misconceptions and myths which currently proliferate mainstream media, sometimes unfairly influencing public perception of farming and farmers.

The podcast will use a wide variety of sources, research and influences to reflect the reality which is so often left unreported, providing you with an informed perspective to balance the rhetoric.

Join us weekly to catch all five episodes of what promises to be a fascinating conversation as Gareth and Stephen are joined by experts and special guests.

OUR PODCAST RESIDENTS

Gareth Wyn Jones

Gareth Wyn Jones is known as ‘the nation’s favourite farmer’. He came to national prominence in the aftermath of the severe snowstorm which hit his farm in the Carneddau mountain range of north Wales in March 2013. Star of the recent TV series The Hill Farm, he regularly appears on television and radio promoting countryside issues.

Born and bred in Carneddau, he has lived all his life at Ty’n Llwyfan, the windswept slopes where his family have farmed for 350 years. Today he lives there with his wife and three kids.

Gareth says that farming is not a job. It’s a way of life and it’s 24/7 as is paid witness by his very prolific social media feeds.

He enjoys producing food for his family and other people in a sustainable way, but is frustrated by the piles of paperwork and record-keeping involved in farming, as well as the continuous bashing of farmers and rural life portrayed by mainstream media.

Gareth says his ultimate aim is to bridge the gap between urban life and the life lived in the countryside. He believes getting the public to understand farming and food production would help sell produce, educate people about the benefits of local produce and short supply chains as well as ultimately helping to address the climate crisis in a balanced, well considered manner.

He relaxes by training young sheepdogs and shooting for food and his favourite day out is supporting Wales when they play rugby. (Someone has to)

Stephen Whyte

Whilst still an undergraduate at the University of Limerick, Stephen began his corporate journey taking up a graduate placement with Proctor and Gamble. Upon completion of his degree in accounting and finance he joined Kerry Foods on their Graduate Trainee programme, where he spent six years working on a wide variety of projects from acquisitions to audits and everything in between. Stephen rose to the position of Financial Controller and whilst there became a Chartered Management Accountant.

The food industry proved to be a natural fit for Stephen who had grown up on the family farm in Ireland immersed in the practicalities of food production. In 1999 Stephen moved to Walkers Midshire Foods – a division of Samworth Brothers Limited, where he sat on the Executive Board as Finance Director.

He founded Bia Associates in 2001 and set about growing the business. In common with many young innovators Stephen juggled family life with that of becoming a founder and discovered that scaling a business was not as simple as it might first appear. So, despite bags of enthusiasm his first venture floundered. However, learning vital lessons from this apparent failure, it was during this period that Stephen came up with the idea for QADEX which he formally founded in 2007 and which continues to go from strength to strength to this day.

Over the last 15 years QADEX has enabled food manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and food service operators to scrutinise, challenge and transform many aspects of their operations including food safety, NPD, customer care, supply chain risk management, sustainable and responsible sourcing and knowledge management through digital adoption.

Used globally by over 16,000 businesses QADEX enables users to move beyond standards compliance and focus on continuous improvement, knowing the business is audit ready at any time.

With his enviable track record in business and supply chain management Stephen is regularly consulted as a digital transformation subject matter expert, and by partnering with long term industry peer Rick Sanderson has brought this expertise to bear in STAR Index.

STAR Index evolved from the pairs’ vast experience of supply chain risk assessment and management coupled with a belief that sustainability and responsible sourcing hold the key to a future where people, the planet and profitability can sit happily side by side.

As an angel investor and serial entrepreneur Stephen is passionate about championing five strategic pillars of people, customers, quality, sustainability and profit, all of which are encouraged and supported across all of the businesses he has interests in.

Outside of work Stephen likes walking his dog, staying fit and eating well. He also enjoys foreign travel, returning to his family’s farm regularly and driving tractors.

OUR PODCAST CHAIR

Phil Jarvis

Phil Jarvis is passionate about championing UK Farming and Environment through an integrated approach and is currently chair of Albanwise Farming and Environment. He was previously Head of Farming, Training and Partnerships at the GWCT Allerton Project for 30 years.

Phil has also held many other roles through the years; he is a Former Chair of the NFU Environment Forum (currently East Midlands representative), Chair NFU LNR & Vice Chair East Midlands Combinable Crops Board and Chair of the Voluntary Initiative.

Listen & watch the first episode here: https://youtu.be/M3QVeqAE2Wc

Or catch up wherever you listen to your podcasts – remember to hit subscribe to hear the next episodes in the series.

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