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 producer and processor Certification since 1998, including bodies such as Organic Farmers and Growers and The Soil Association. Currently farming around 900 acres on the North Devon coast, and specialising in environment/marginal land management and rare habitat ruminant grazing, his particular interests include coastal heathland, beach dune systems and tidal estuary marshes where he is pleased to work in partnership with The National Trust and Natural England. Wayne maintains a closed herd of 100 breeding North Devon cattle with followers and 30 Hebridean sheep, and grows a variety of organic cereals. A solo Dad with four children at home, Wayne is also an experienced surfer and has coached for Woolacombe and Croyde Surf Life Saving Clubs.
Pete Douglas, Auditor, has a background in researching endoparasites of sheep, studying Zoology at Aberystwyth University. After graduating, he worked for the Soil Association, first advising organic farmers and then as an inspector with Soil Association Certification, completing hundreds of audits of livestock farms. In 2012, Pete started contract shepherding and, in 2014, set up his own flock in Wiltshire on land rented from seven organic farms. Pete also has interest in fish, both wild and farmed, and is often called upon for his knowledge in these areas and has audited numerous fish farms across the world.
Jason Gale, Director of Agricultural Development, 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, Compliance Director Europe, has been involved in farming from a young age. After gaining an Honours degree in Agriculture from Harper Adams University, 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.
Andy Griffiths, Auditor, grew up on a 45-acre dairy farm near Welshpool in mid Wales. After graduating from Aberystwyth University with an honours degree in Agriculture in 2008, Andy worked on a sheep farm in Herefordshire and as an Underwriting Assistant at a livestock insurance firm based in Norfolk, before joining Soil Association Certification as a Producer Certification Officer and then as a contract farm inspector. In 2017, he returned home and is the sixth generation of his family to farm there, managing a small pedigree suckler herd of Red Poll cattle and Kerry Hill sheep. During his spare time, Andy enjoys exploring the hills of mid Wales and the Welsh Marches.
Rachel Matthews, Auditor, has a vast range of experience in animal welfare, with a BSc Honours degree in Animal Science and many other welfare courses, as well as 15 years’ experience in developing livestock standards. She is a licensed CowSignals Advisor and ROMS Approved Mobility Scorer and has detailed knowledge in ISO quality management, with experience of developing, managing and implementing welfare schemes for wide range of species. Rachel has also provided consultancy services, focusing on farm assurance compliance, cross compliance and audit design and implementation. Rachel is a keen tennis player and sings in her church band.
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.