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Speakers confirmed for ‘The challenges and opportunities facing the organic sector’

Organic discussion at Dairy Tech speakers announced

The speakers for the upcoming organic discussion, to be chaired by independent journalist Chris Walkland, at Dairy-Tech have been announced.

  • Wil Armitage, one of the UK’s leading organic dairy farmers
  • Rich Clothier, Managing Director of Wyke Farms, which has recently set up The British Organic Dairy Company in conjunction with OMSCo
  • Ian Potter, an industry commentator who also has an interest in an organic farm

The debate will take place at 9:30 am in the ‘Dairy Hub‘. All are welcome to attend – be organic farmers or people who are interested in the sector.

“Last year’s session was extremely informative, and I am sure 2019’s will be equally so,” says Rob Daykin, Ruminant Manager of Hi Peak Feeds .“I look forward to hearing the view of our panel, and those from delegates as well.”

Full speaker profiles are below. For more information and to purchase your tickets for Dairy-Tech, please visit dairy-tech.uk

Speaker Profiles

Wil Armitage

Having previously farmed a high yielding, Gold Cup winning herd, Wil is now the managing partner in a 380 cow Organic Dairy Herd, and jointly owns a sec­ond 110ha organic farm. Between them, Will is looking to grow organically to 350 autumn calving cows and 250 spring calving cows, looking to optimise the unit in a profitable and sustainable way.

A Nuffield Scholar, Wil also has a contract farming business with 300 conventional cows on a low output grazing system, producing yoghurt on farm and selling the surplus to make Stilton.

Rich Clothier, Wyke Farms

Rich Clothier represents the third-generation of the Clothiers, a family who have been making cheddar on their Somerset farm since 1861. Under Rich’s leadership as Managing Director, the Wyke Farms brand has grown both in the UK and through export markets and is now available in 160 countries worldwide.

Rich is passionate about farming, the environment and branding. Wyke Farms developed a ground breaking on-site renewable energy plant, which is the cornerstone to the Wyke Farms 100% Green mission and enabled the company to be the first UK grocery brand to be 100% self sufficient in green energy. The company is now recognized as one of the leading privately owned UK food businesses and employs 250 people directly across three sites and works with 1500 other businesses across the region and nationally.

Ian Potter

The son of an East Yorkshire farmer, Ian Potter qualified as a  chartered surveyor and auctioneer  before he set up his own quota business in 1988. Spotting a niche in the market place as a quota broker, Ian set-up in business and maintained pole position in the sale of milk quota for the best part of 26 years. His company became the market leader and best known broker in Europe.  In recent years the business has diversified into offering call centre, back office administration and telephone answering services for a range of agricultural businesses including The National Fallen Stock Company. Their work includes managing around 16,000 direct debits each month.

Ian is also one of the best known dairy commentators in the industry, having written a monthly article for Dairy Farmer for 27 years, and also writes a dairy industry bulletin which is circulated to around 8,000 UK dairy farmers most  weeks. Both of these are eagerly awaited by many involved in the industry in anticipation that Ian  has once again delved into the detail and cut through the spin to explain what the real situation is.