Nicholas Saphir has been appointed as the new chair of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), and will be assuming his new role from the 1st April 2020 on a three-year term.

Saphir was appointed by the Government and will be taking over from Sir Peter Kendall who completes his second term in office at the end of March.

This is a Ministerial appointment, made by the Secretary of State for Defra, which has been approved by Ministers in the Scottish Government and Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive.

Saphir said: “I’m delighted to be involved with AHDB at this pivotal time of change for UK agriculture and horticulture. The AHDB has a vital role to play in helping to equip farmers, growers and processors to make the most of the opportunities and tackle the challenges that lie ahead.”

AHDB chief executive, Jane King, said: “Nicholas brings a wealth of agricultural and commercial experience which will be invaluable to helping AHDB strengthen its role during a significant time of change for industry. Myself and the AHDB team are really looking forward to working with him.”


With a wide background in agriculture and horticulture, Saphir built a public company farming, processing and trading fruit and vegetables in the UK, Europe, Southern Africa and South America.

His dairy experience includes spending the last 18 years building the Organic Milk Producers’ Cooperative (Omsco) into becoming the world’s second largest dedicated organic milk cooperative.

Saphir also has a long and successful record of chairing industry and government bodies in the food and farming sector, including being the chairman of the Central Council for Agricultural and Horticultural Cooperation, founder chairman of Food from Britain, president of the Fresh Produce Consortium and chairman of the Agricultural Forum.

This appointment is governed by the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments and is made on merit. In accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public.