Farmer co-operative appoints new award-winning chief executive

Andrew Knowles, who has been appointed chief executive of Suffolk-based farming cooperative Fram Fa

Andrew Knowles, who has been appointed chief executive of Suffolk-based farming cooperative Fram Farmers Picture: ANDREW KNOWLES - Credit: Archant

A veteran of the foot-and-mouth crisis of 2001 is set to head up Framlingham-based farmer co-operative Fram Farmers.

Andrew Knowles is a recipient of the prestigious David Black Award, given to people who have made a significant and sustained contribution to the British pig industry.

Since 2015 he has been pig marketing director at Dutch farmer-owned animal feed firm ForFarmers – which has its UK headquarters in Bury St Edmunds – and is responsible for developing and executing the company’s European pig strategy.

MORE – Grower hopes eastern Europeans laid off from other sectors may help to plug UK-wide hole in seasonal farm workforceHe gained a degree in agricultural management, and started his career in agriculture initially as a farm consultant working with arable businesses in East Anglia.He went on to head up the technical, knowledge transfer and communication teams for farmer levy-payers’ group the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Pork at a challenging time for the industry amid the foot-and-mouth outbreak of the early 2000s.Fram Farmers’ chairman Andrew Read said the organisation was “delighted” to welcome Mr Knowles. “He brings a depth and breadth of agri-business knowledge to Fram Farmers and is well-positioned to serve members across all sectors of the industry,” he said.“As we celebrate 60 years, and as one of the few true farmer-owned inputs, purchasing and crop marketing co-operatives to have reached this milestone, we are confident that Andrew will deliver further progress for our members. “We are confident that his leadership qualities and strategic experience will help to further develop what we have achieved over the past six decades.”Mr Knowles – who replaces Richard Anscombe who left the post in 2019 – is due to join the team in July. He said he was looking forward to joining Fram Farmers and its “very dedicated and skilled team”.“As Fram Farmers celebrates its 60th year, its members and UK agriculture face a period of unprecedented change, which will bring challenges and opportunities,” he said. “I am very excited and motivated by the prospect of working with the board, team and membership, and leading Fram Farmers in the next phase of its development and growth.”Subscribe to our daily coronavirus newsletter, with all the latest from where you live or follow developments on Facebook