Our board of directors are appointed to represent our shareholders' interests and ensure that the company's management acts on their behalf.
Andrew Read, Chairman
Andrew is a fourth generation Depden farmer who studied agricultural engineering at West Suffolk College and Chadacre Agricultural Institute, before joining the family business, M.F. Read & Sons, in 1982.
In 1986 he set up a bulk haulage business, alongside the arable farm enterprise, and in 2010 entered into a machinery and labour-saving venture with a neighbouring farm to reduce production costs.
Andrew’s farm joined the co-operative in 2005 and now operates 1,500 acres of owned, rented and contract farmed arable land together with a livery yard for 22 horses. Andrew became a Fram Farmers Board Director in 2015 and was appointed Chair in November 2019.
Wendy Houston, Vice Chair
Wendy has a degree in psychology, and spent a year with Shell before deciding to return to the family farming business in Swilland, Suffolk.
Wendy has been driving the business, S.E.Kent & Son, forward for 20 years, farming 1,100 acres of owned and FBT land. She operates a six-year rotation encompassing wheat, barley, oilseed rape, spring beans and sugar beet, alongside a 550-sow farrow-to-finish unit.
Wendy became a Fram Farmers board Director in 2015 and was appointed Vice Chair in November 2019.
After attaining an HND in Agriculture at Writtle, including a year on the Benacre Estate, and returning to the UK from Canada in 1975, John joined the 235-acre family farm at Hoo, taking sole charge in 1978.
From taking on his first contract farm in 1984, the business has grown to 2,700 acres of contract farming arrangements and 800 acres of owner-occupied and FBT land.
John has previously been branch chairman of Framlingham NFU and the County Cereals Committee. He became a Fram Farmers board member in 2011.
William is a West Sussex dairy farmer who, along with his brother, keeps a herd of 700 milking Holsteins, with a further 550 heifers reared off-site. William is a steering group representative for ARLA South East on the Sainsbury's Dairy Development Group.
In 2008 he completed a Nuffield Scholarship, and in 2011 was a member of the Government’s Farming Regulation Task Force set up by the then-agricultural minister Jim Paice to reduce the regulatory burdens on farmers and food.
William has been a Fram Farmers member since 2007 and member of the board since 2016.
Robin Lawson currently works for his family farming business, Rattlerow Farms. He studied Economics and Business Management at Newcastle University, graduating in 2010. He spent six years working for Deloitte London, where he worked for clients across a number of industries including agriculture, shipping and chemical manufacturing. He holds a full ACA qualification and is a member of the Institute for Chartered Accounts (ICAEW).
Robin grew up on his family farm, working with the pigs from a young age. He returned to the family business in 2015 and currently works in the role of General Manager.
Robin has been a Fram Farmers member since 1980 and joined the board in 2019.
Before running the family farm, James studied for a diploma at Writtle Agricultural College. He returned to his farm in Bromeswell, Suffolk in 1979. James now farms 4000 acres, producing mainly potatoes, onions and organic vegetables.
In 2012 they installed a 300 KVA solar photovoltaic system to help cut their carbon footprint by generating some of their own electricity, from which they run their cold stores.
In 2018 James won first prize in the Suffolk Agricultural Associations Large Farms Business competition award.
James became a Fram Farmers member in 1980 and has been a member of the board since 2015.
After graduating from Reading University in 2001 with a degree in Agriculture, Tom worked for farm business consultants, Andersons, in Suffolk for four years, learning the key factors for running a successful business.
Tom joined Stevenson Brothers, the family farming business in Essex, in 2005 and following a restructure of the family business in 2018, is now the MD of G A Stevenson. Amongst other crops, G A Stevenson grows potatoes for Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and for export.
Tom has been a member of Fram Farmers since 2008 and a member of the board since 2012.
With a degree in Agriculture from Newcastle University, Douglas joined Velcourt Ltd as a trainee manager in 1979. He managed a 1200ha farm in Lincolnshire for five years, before moving to Suffolk in 1986 to manage a large arable farm growing potatoes, carrots, sugar beet, onions and combinable crops.
He became a director in 1992 and took on various responsibilities including Director of the South East. During his time with Velcourt he was responsible for purchasing fertiliser, setting up machinery hire deals and organising rebates from manufacturers.
Douglas now runs his own consultancy business, giving management and agronomy advice to a number of farming businesses, and is BASIS and FACTS qualified. Douglas joined the board in 2020.
Charles' career as an investment banker has spanned over thirty years. He has worked for Lazard and HSBC where he was Head of UK Advisory until he retired in March 2017.
Charles is currently the Senior Independent Director at the FTSE 350 company Diploma PLC, and Chairman of BMT Group, an employee owned engineering consultancy. He was appointed Chairman of the charity Prostate Cancer UK in December 2016 and became Vice-Chairman of the governors at Framlingham College in June 2017.
Charles received a BSc (Hons) from Bristol University and a Master’s degree from London Business School, and is a chartered engineer.
Charles joined the board in 2016.