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Boss of major farm buying group will step down next summer

PUBLISHED: 16:43 05 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:43 05 November 2019

AF Group chief executive Jon Duffy has announced he will step down in summer 2020.

AF Group chief executive Jon Duffy has announced he will step down in summer 2020.

Archant

The boss of a major Norfolk-based agricultural buying group has announced he will step down next summer as he seeks to spend more time with his family.

Jon Duffy joined AF Group - then known as Anglia Farmers - in March 2017, and has been instrumental in restructuring and refocusing the UK's largest procurement co-operative for farmers, which sources more than £275m of goods every year for more than 3,500 shareholder members.

The business, based at Honingham Thorpe outside Norwich, has seen significant growth during his tenure as chief executive, and last year was able to return around £1.6m in rebates.

Mr Duffy today announced his "difficult decision" to leave the business in early summer 2020 and, although he does not yet know what his next challenge will be, he said he wanted it to be closer to his family in Nottinghamshire.

"I need to move on to the next chapter in my work life," he said. "The business is on firm footings and set up for future success, but I need to be back closer to my family and my loved ones in Nottinghamshire. I am looking forward to my next challenge, but my family comes first.

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"I believe AF is now in a strong position to continue to grow its membership, driven by the services that are proving so successful for our farmers.

"Since joining nearly three years ago, I have worked closely with the board and senior management team and together we have created a business that is fit for today's farming environment and equipped to help farmers adapt to the undoubted challenges that lie ahead.

"It has been a difficult decision, but I feel it is the right time, both for the business and for me personally. I have been enormously impressed with all of my colleagues at AF and proud of what we have achieved. I am keen to ensure a smooth transition, and as a result have agreed with the board to stay on to allow a successor to be found."

READ MORE: AF Group chief executive says farms must scale up to boost their 'influence and leverage'

AF Group chairman Nigel Savory added: "I cannot thank Jon enough for the changes that he has helped us instigate.

"We now have a very dynamic business to build upon and I am looking forward to continuing to work with Jon and the senior management team he has assembled.

"We will now identify a new CEO to continue to drive our growth agenda and to return ever greater value to our members and help them with the challenges and opportunities facing UK agriculture."

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