Suffolk brand-builder behind Covent Garden Soup Co and Green and Black’s chocolate set to speak at farming conference

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:39 28 December 2018

William Kendall of Maple Farm, Kelsale  Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

William Kendall of Maple Farm, Kelsale Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

A Suffolk organic entrepreneur who has built a raft of recognisable brands will explain how to add value to farming produce at an East Anglian agricultural conference in February.

William Kendall of Kelsale, near Saxmundham, is among the speakers at the annual Sentry Conference, which takes place on February 6 at Rowley Mile Racecourse, Newmarket, under the title: Free trade, tariffs or quotas? An Island of Opportunity.

The environmentalist is chairman of British soft drinks business Cawston Press, and managed the New Covent Garden Soup Company for nine years before leading the acquisition of the then-tiny Green & Black’s organic chocolate business, later sold to Cadbury’s in 2005.

Mr Kendall was born in Cambridge and comes from an East Anglian farming family, farming organically with his wife at Maple Farm in Kelsale, where they have developed a successful example of local food production and marketing.

He campaigns for better and more locally-produced food, and writes and lectures on entrepreneurship and innovation. He is also a founding director of the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, a council member of the Suffolk Agricultural Association and a deputy lieutenant for Suffolk.

Other speakers at the conference include Nuffield scholar and Australian farmer Randall Wilksch on the subject of encouraging more women into broadscale agriculture, and Mark Buckingham of Bayer CropScience on plant breeding technology beyond Brexit.

The Sentry Lecture will be given by Roger Johnson, president of the USA National Farmers Union, who will discuss international trade.

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