Wayne Copp, Executive Director, has been an organic farmer for over 20 years. He also has extensive project and programme management experience, having worked for organisations such as Vodafone and National Grid Wireless. Wayne has worked in a range of roles in UK and European farm certification since 1998, including bodies such as Organic Farmers and Growers and The Soil Association. Currently farming around 700 acres on the north Devon coast, and specialising in environment/marginal land management and rare habitat ruminant grazing, his particular interests include coastal heath, beach dune systems and tidal estuary marshes where he is pleased to work in partnership with The National Trust and Natural England. Wayne raises a closed herd of 100 breeding North Devon cattle and 60 Hebridean sheep, and grows a variety of organic cereals. Married for 26 years with four children, Wayne is also an experienced surfer and has coached for Woolacombe Surf Life Saving Club.
Jason Gale, Auditor, grew up working within a family run beef and sheep farm, abattoir and butchers’ shop in Devon. After studying for a Higher National Diploma in Agriculture at Cannington College, Somerset, he spent 12 years working in the State Veterinary Service (later Animal Health and Veterinary Lab Agency) for Defra, initially as an Animal Health Officer, later as Technical Manager in the South West of England, before managing teams of Animal Health Officers, Egg Marketing Inspectors and Dairy Hygiene Inspectors. Jason served on a central Defra panel responsible for the traceability of beef products and was appointed as Technical Advisor for Pigs and Poultry for the UK. Since 2012, Jason has run an organic, grassfed flock of Dorset, pedigree Lleyn, Kerry Hill and Grey Faced Dartmoor sheep, as well as a small herd of Ayrshire dairy cattle. In addition to farming, Jason conducts audits for various certification bodies.
Rob George has been involved in farming from a young age. After gaining a degree in Agriculture, he began his career as a farmer in the dairy, beef and arable sectors. Rob has worked in farm certification for over 17 years, joining The Soil Association as an Advisor, before moving to Inspector and then Technical Manager roles. Rob has sat on government and industry working groups in the organic sector and, as part of this role, he has advised on product development with small businesses to multi-national caterers and supply businesses. He is a qualified organic farm and food processing inspector, with hundreds of inspections under his belt. Rob has a young family and lives in Somerset. In his spare time, Rob is involved in running an organic beef farm with 120 acres; driving tractors, building barns and advising on good agricultural practice.
Anna Heaton, Lead Technical Advisor, is a professionally qualified and highly experienced sustainable livestock specialist with extensive knowledge and skills across a wide range of farmed species. Anna has proven success in a range of areas from practical farm management to project management and consultancy with excellent ability in provision and dissemination of information. Anna has a degree in agriculture, 10 years’ experience as a farm manager overseeing a range of species and cropping enterprises and four years’ experience working for the Soil Association. She oversees the technical compliance, standard development and training for AGW globally as well as in the UK, ensuring AGW is aligned with the latest science and practice in both animal and environmental management.
Peter Mundy, Group Writer/Editor. After gaining a MSc in environmental policy and management in 1997, Peter joined the Soil Association, where he worked as editor for the ‘Organic Farming’ magazine for over 12 years. As a freelance writer and communications specialist, he has worked on several major sustainable food and farming projects, including editing the original content for the European Commission’s consumer-facing Organic Farming website. Peter is responsible for producing AGW’s quarterly ‘Sustainable Farming’ magazine, as well as contributing to other written material from the programme.
Angharad Simkiss, Auditor, has been auditing since 2003, focusing on agriculture and related industries. She has audited a range of quality assurance schemes, including a variety of livestock health schemes and standalone Quality Assurance contracts for supermarket supply chains, with her main focus in recent years being auditing organic farms. Angharad has served on an EU-funded project promoting regional foods within the South West of England, as well as the Meat and Livestock Commission. Qualifications and training include a BSc (hons) in Agriculture and Countryside Management, QMS/Lead Auditor training and the University of Bristol: Animal Welfare Assessment Course. Angharad lives on a small farm in the South West with her family, enjoying all things outdoors and equestrian, and traveling as time allows.