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Gloucestershire Business News

RAU 175 Alumni Lectures: The agri-food industry

Cirencester's Royal Agricultural University (RAU) is inviting students, staff, alumni, friends and well-wishers to its latest online lecture tomorrow (13th April).

As part of its series of 175 lectures, featuring RAU voices in industry reflecting on the experiences of the past to tackle the challenges of the future, the newly appointed head of Red Tractor will reflect on the agri-food management business.

Christine Tacon of Red Tractor will be joining 2020 RAU graduate Max Pitman to discuss the industry from the perspectives of a highly successful career and someone just beginning on their journey in the sector.

She took up the role of chairman of Assured Food Standards (ASF), the company that operates the Red Tractor Assurance scheme, on 1st January 2021.

Christine Tacon is a chartered engineer with 12 years' experience in sales and marketing of fast moving consumer goods (Mars, Anchor and Vodafone) and ran the Co-operative Group's farming business, the largest in the UK, for 11 years until 2012. She was awarded a CBE for services to agriculture in 2004.

She is chair of MDS Limited, a training provider for graduates in the fresh food and produce industry, and is a mentor to Max.

Max Pitman studied international agri-business at the RAU, finishing in 2020. He is now a graduate management trainee at Management Development Services (MDS) Ltd.

MDS is a partnership of companies that aims to equip young people with the experience, training and mind-set to rapidly become senior business leaders within the industry. The membership includes growers, suppliers and retailers of vegetables, salads, meat products and agrochemicals, as well as agronomy specialists.

Since October, Max has been at Finsbury Food Group in East Kilbride in an Operational Support role in a cake factory. He will soon be heading to Greenyard Fresh in Spalding to work in a technical role.

The session takes place 6pm-7pm on Tuesday 13th April. Tickets are available here and free to RAU students, staff, alumni, friends and well-wishers.

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