The Judges

All written entries will be judged against the set criteria as outlined in the entry form by our exclusive panel of expert judges. From this three finalists in each category will be chosen.
Each of the three finalists in each category will then interviewed to explain and discuss their entry further. Some finalists will also be visited on-site by our judges to determine the winner.

Who are the Judges?


Charles Bourns

Charles Bourns is a first generation broiler farmer from Gloucestershire growing 480,000 chickens per year for Hook 2 Sisters. He has been involved with the NFU for 36 years and was chairman of its National Poultry Board for 12 years. In addition, he is on the NFU’s South West Regional Poultry Board representing poultry farmers and he represents the NFU at meetings of Red Tractor. In Europe Charles is chairman of Copa Cogeca’s Poultry Meat and Eggs Working Group having been involved in the organisation for over 16 years. Charles has been involved in consultation work on all aspects of environmental, zoonotic and other aspects of poultry production both in the UK and in Europe, and is passionate about the industry and its future.

Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly is a second generation turkey farmer from Essex and his business, Kelly Turkeys is responsible for resurrecting the traditional Bronze turkey breed. His business also encompasses Farm Gate Hatcheries, which supplies turkey poults to thousands of farmers around the country. Paul is a great advocate for the turkey sector, and dry-plucked premium birds in particular.

Chloe Ryan

Chloe Ryan has been a journalist specialising in food and farming her whole career, covering the meat industry in depth for more than a decade. Chloe was the launch editor of Poultry Business at the start of 2017.

Richard Griffiths

Richard Griffiths has been with the British Poultry Council for over thirteen years, first as Policy Director and latterly as Chief Executive. In that time, he has covered welfare, campylobacter, antibiotics, meat inspection, avian influenza, and is responsible for raising the profile of the UK poultry meat sector. Leaving the EU has introduced new challenges in the form of the cost of trade and access to labour. Richard has a background in mining engineering and began his working life with British Coal in underground mines, and then spent eight years with the Quarry Products Association before moving to the poultry sector.

Mark Williams

Mark Williams is a poultry farmer’s son. After studying at Harper Adams Agricultural College in Shropshire, he managed a large pullet rearing / egg production unit. Following gaining valuable experience, he returned home to expand the business. In 1991, he joined the National Farmers’ Union as a Regional Poultry Adviser in the north of England. In 1995, he was appointed National Egg Specialist. He joined the British Egg Industry Council in 1999 and became Chief Executive in 2000.

His additional roles include: Secretary-General of EUWEP (the EU trade association for egg packers, egg traders and egg processors) (since 1999). He was the President of the EU Civil Dialogue Group on Poultry and Eggs. He is a Board member of CELCAA (the EU liaison committee for the food trade).

He was President of the European Commission’s Advisory Group on ‘Poultrymeat and Eggs’ from 2010 to 2012. He is also a Nuffield Scholar, and was Chairman of the Nuffield Poultry Study Group from May 2012 – May 2015. He was Chairman of the UK Poultry Health and Welfare Group during 2015 and 2016. He was Statistical Adviser to the International Egg Commission from 1996 – 2006.

Gary Ford

Gary Ford was appointed NFU Chief Poultry Adviser in September 2013 having joined the NFU in January 2009 as a Group Secretary based in Staffordshire. Gary’s practical poultry experience came as an agricultural manager in the broiler industry where he worked for ten years before he joined the NFU. In this role he was responsible for all aspects of production on company farms as well as contract growers – a role that brought him into contact with many of the key players that are involved in the poultry sector today.

Gary is based at the NFU’s HQ in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire however he also spends time at the NFU’s London and Brussels offices. Covering both the poultry meat and egg sector Gary’s role is to promote the interests of NFU poultry members and to provide support. Gary has a degree in Law from the University of Staffordshire and a degree in Agriculture from Writtle Agricultural College, Essex. Gary is from a farming background – his parents are beef and sheep farmers from Worcestershire.



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