Anglia Farmers appoints former Frontier director Jon Duffy as new chief executive

Jon Duffy (left) has been appointed group chief executive officer for Anglia Farmers. He is pictured

Jon Duffy (left) has been appointed group chief executive officer for Anglia Farmers. He is pictured with AF chairman Nigel Savory. - Credit: Paul Nixon

A Norfolk-based agricultural buying group has appointed senior farm commodities trader and industry spokesman Jon Duffy as its new group chief executive officer.

The new chief will join Anglia Farmers (AF), the UK's largest agricultural purchasing group, on March 1, taking over the role from Clarke Willis, who is standing down in June after 15 years at the helm.

Mr Duffy was managing director of Gleadell Agriculture for nine years before joining Frontier Agriculture in 2005 as trading director – later becoming Frontier's business development director between 2014 and 2016.

For the past two years he has also been chairman of the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC).

On his appointment to Anglia Farmers, the EDP/EADT Top100 firm, based in Honingham Thorpe, he said: 'I am delighted to be joining AF and very much hope to build on the good work done by Clarke and his team over the years.

'Whilst much of UK agriculture has recently been going through a period of change and uncertainty, the future of AF is incredibly bright and my aim is to improve the business for the benefit of its members. We live in exciting times and I cannot wait to get started.'

AF chairman Nigel Savory said: 'We are looking forward to welcoming Jon to AF. I am pleased that we have been able to attract a candidate of Jon's calibre. His industry knowledge and management skills will be a real asset to AF.'

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Departing chief executive Clarke Willis was made an MBE last June for services to agriculture and rural communities in East Anglia.

During Mr Willis' tenure, the group's turnover has grown to £240m from £35m in 2003, when AF was formed as a result of the merger of two long-established Norfolk based buying groups, Loddon Farmers and Mid Norfolk Farmers.

AF's membership has grown from 700 to 3,500 shareholder members and there are now four wholly-owned subsidiaries – Affinity, an £8m business running village fuel schemes and non-agricultural purchasing; AF Biomass, supplying straw into biomass power stations; AF Finance, a peer-to-peer lending scheme; and AF Logic, an ag-chem distribution business launched last year.

Mr Savory added: 'I would like to thank Clarke for all the hard work and dedication he has given to AF. Clarke's vision, drive and determination have put AF firmly on the map as the leading agricultural purchasing group in the UK.'