Gary Taylor takes helm as HDC chairman

Pepper grower Gary Taylor has taken over from Neil Bragg as Horticulture Development Company (HDC) chairman, while Professor Ian Crute takes on a new role within umbrella body the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Image: NFU
Image: NFU

Currently managing director of Valley Grown Salads, Taylor has widespread experience of representing the industry at various levels, including as vice-chair of the NFU Board for Horticulture, chairman of the East Anglian Horticulture Board, chairman of the Red Tractor Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for horticulture and as a member of the HDC board.

He also founded and currently chairs the Pepper Technology Group and is chairman of the Lee Valley Grower Association. In 2013 he was awarded an MBE for services to the pepper industry.

He said: "I look forward to helping to steer and shape the work of this important levy board so it continues to deliver real benefit for levy payers and the wider industry."

The position is one of three within the AHDB confirmed by Defra and the devolved agriculture departments at the start of this month.

They also include the appointment to the board of Professor Ian Crute as an independent with science expertise to help inform the AHDB's decisions on research and knowledge exchange.

He said: "After five fulfilling years as AHDB's chief scientist I am more convinced than ever that the functions the levy board undertakes are an essential contribution to ensuring we have an innovative and competitive food and farming industry in the UK."

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