Tesco has announced the appointment of Tom Hind as its new agriculture director. Hind, who has more than 15 years of experience working for the National Farmers Union (NFU), will join Tesco later this year in a role designed to develop Tesco’s relationship with farmers and producers across Ireland, the UK and around the world.
Tesco announced the creation of the Director of Agriculture role at the NFU conference back in February as part of its commitment to strengthen relationships with farmers and to source more food from Irish and British farms.
Hind will oversee Tesco’s new agriculture team, which consists of agriculture experts for each area of farming including proteins, fishing and horticulture and develop Tesco’s sustainable farming groups. The groups will cover the whole of the agriculture sector, following Tesco’s industry leading work in establishing groups for dairy and beef farmers.
Hind will act as the main point of contact between Tesco’s commercial teams and farmers across Ireland and the UK, develop innovative ways of working with farmers and contribute to building sustainable farms for the future.
Hind will also be responsible for Tesco’s work in animal welfare, where Tesco already has world leading schemes for each species, and minimising waste in the farming supply chain.
In a statement Kevin Grace, commercial director at Tesco, said: “Tom is a respected figure in British agriculture and will bring with him a huge amount of hands-on farming experience. His relationship with farmers will ensure their views continue to be heard throughout Tesco.
“As our new agriculture director, Tom will oversee the work of our agriculture team across every area of the sector and will work closely with our commercial teams and in partnership with farmers to deliver the best British produce for our customers.”
Welcoming his appointment Hind said: “The NFU is a fantastic organisation and I have enjoyed my 15 years here covering a range of issues and roles. Throughout my career I have been motivated by trying to make a difference on behalf of farmers and growers. I’m looking forward to working with the Tesco team and its suppliers to develop even closer working relationships between farmers, manufacturers and the retailer.”
NFU’s director general Andy Robertson said: “Tom Hind is an absolute asset for the NFU and so while we are sorry to lose him I am delighted that we can continue working closely with Tom in his new role at Tesco.
“Back in February Tesco made a commitment to work more closely with farmers and to source more British food. I see this role, and Tom’s appointment, as a very large step towards delivering on that promise. Tom will bring a high level of insight and understanding of agriculture to Tesco and more importantly farmers can be reassured that this key role is being filled by someone who understands agriculture.”
Hind was brought up working on his uncle’s cattle farm in Sheffield and later spent a year working on a dairy farm in France, before joining the NFU in 1998. He won the respect of farmers across the UK with his pioneering work on behalf of dairy farmers, which led to better contractual terms between farmers and their customers.
During his career at the NFU, Hind has helped guide the farming industry through some of its most challenging issues including Foot and Mouth and Bovine TB.
In a statement Kevin Grace, Commercial Director at Tesco said: “As British agriculture’s biggest customer, we’re proud of the relationships we’ve developed with thousands of farmers across the UK. Through schemes such as our pioneering Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group, we’ve led the way in developing new ways of working with farmers and we hope to build on these achievements with the appointment of Tom Hind.
“Tom is a respected figure in British agriculture and will bring with him a huge amount of hands-on farming experience. His relationship with farmers will ensure their views continue to be heard throughout Tesco.
“As our new Agriculture Director, Tom will oversee the work of our Agriculture team across every area of the sector and will work closely with our commercial teams and in partnership with farmers to deliver the best British produce for our customers.”
Pictured Tom Hind, image courtesy Tesco