Graduating from Seale Hayne Agricultural College in the 1980s, Mike has followed a professional career in agricultural including the management of commercial farming operations, research and development, agricultural accountancy and finance, marketing and public relations. Experienced in the livestock sector and food processing, he works with some of the World’s leading food brands.
He is a Director of Farmers First, with its two abattoir operations Farmers Fresh at Kenilworth, and Farmers Fresh Wales which started its Wrexham plant in April 2018. Farmers First, which started with Farmers Ferry, is owned by 2,700 farmer shareholders from all over the UK and seeks to develop market opportunities in both the European and domestic markets. Its primary objective is to improve returns to UK livestock producers, and today is responsible for processing about 1 million lambs per year, the majority of which are exported to the EU. To put that in context, that is about 10% of all the lamb produced in the UK. The company has an annual turnover of £100 million and employs about 175 people.
Mike is also Chairman of RAFT Solutions a veterinary research and training business, involved in the development of new technologies in the animal health sector; he is a former Chairman of the Oxford Farming Conference and a judge in the BBC Food and Farming Awards.
With livestock playing a key role in regenerative agriculture, Mike Gooding will look at the prospects for marketing lamb in both domestic markets and overseas. He will also consider if the time is right to take a regenerative approach to business models through the supply chain to return more value to the farmer.