Join the Network

Sign up below to join the network and over 600 other women in food and farming who are looking to connect and contribute to the industry. 

Our Mission

To provide a place to share ideas, learn and collaborate for the advancement of the industry under a better represented female leadership.

We hope to create a place to share ideas, news, values and ambitions across a network of women in the food and agriculture sector. 

Our Vision

That the food and farming sector can be positively affected by the inclusion of women in leadership positions making decisions for the future. 

Steering Group

Image of Christine Tacon and her dog

Christine Tacon

I was the first Groceries Code Adjudicator, achieving significant cultural change, bringing greater fairness for producers supplying the UK’s largest supermarkets. I now chair Assured Food Standards (Red Tractor), which manages and promotes assurance of the food industry and I chair MDS, a graduate/second career recruitment and training business offering two years’ work experience for future leaders in the food industry. I also chair the BBC Rural Affairs Committee. I am a Chartered Engineer, have 12 years’ experience in sales and marketing (Fonterra, Mars and Vodafone) and ran the Co-operative Group’s farming business for 11 years.

Camilla Hayselden-Ashby in a field of hemp

Camilla Hayselden-Ashby

I am Head of Product for fieldmargin, an easy-to-use app for mobile and web which acts as a farm map, jobsheet and notebook that can be accessed anywhere by the whole farm team, simplifying farm management. I also work one day per week on my family’s mixed sheep and arable farm in Kent. Before moving into agriculture I worked in marketing as a strategist with a focus on digital and social media clients from technology, automotive, travel and FMCG sectors. I am able to bring to the group my marketing knowledge, which includes social media, digital advertising and PR. I also have extensive experience of Women in Technology groups, including developing strategy for Microsoft’s Remarkable Women programme and involvement in Ada’s List, Geek Girl Meetup and CodeFirst:Girls. This could provide a useful example for WIFF since technology is another male-dominated industry.

Laura Buckingham

I manage a team of arable buyers for Fram Farmers, based in Suffolk with a country-wide membership. I trained as an agronomist and worked with a client base in Suffolk and Norfolk for 8 years previous to my current role. I still practice agronomy on a small scale and am a member of the AICC. Throughout my career I have been involved in various events and organisations aimed at encouraging young people in the industry, including talks and presentations where I tend to be asked to talk about the challenges and opportunities of being a woman in agriculture. My contribution to WIFF is likely to be canvassing for suggesting novel events and exploring these possibilities. I would also be keen to find ways to encourage more women and more interaction / support / mentoring outside of our events.

Clare Otridge

Clare Otridge

I am account director at market research agency, England Marketing, specialising in the food supply chain from the farmer to the consumer. We have undertaken research on behalf of DEFRA, Bayer, NFFN, Natural England, NFU, The Environment Agency, British Growers, RSPCA Assured, Red Tractor, Basis in the agricultural sector. On the food consumer side we have work with all the major retailer and suppliers. Prior to working in agriculture and food, I worked in a number of sectors within a marketing capacity. Using the communication and engagement skills I gained in marketing I have grown our own consumer and farmer panel to the largest food and farming specific research panels in the UK. My contribution to WIFF, well you are using it right now! England Marketing hosts and runs the WIFF website - get in touch if you have any ideas!

Debbie Winstanley

Debbie winstanley

Now, part time caring for a Family member. A freelance Technical and Agronomy Manager, currently leading and working on strategic fresh produce projects. Recently appointed a Governor at Harper Adams University. I moved on from a Senior Technical Management role for PepsiCo, after 6 years, accountable for supply of potatoes, apples and oats from the UK. Previously, I worked for Co-op Food and Sainsbury’s, in Product Technology, looking after fresh Fruit and Veg. and supporting pesticide residue minimization. I spent the first 20 years of my working life, as a Farmer facing Agronomist. In an honorary capacity: a member of the steering group of the Allerton Trust (training and demonstration farm for the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust) and the steering board of CUPGRA (Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Association) and a BASIS examiner providing support and training to develop standards. (A member of the BASIS professional register for 36 years). I am passionate about developing clear communication between Growers and Retailers, using data, and supporting younger colleagues. The contribution that I would like to make to Women in Food and Farming would be Mentoring and finding great Speakers, who can inspire the Members.

Kirsty Barden

Kirsty Barden

I am the the head of business development at MDS, the leading training and development provider for careers in the food and fresh produce industry. Having come into the industry, from non-conventional routes, I am passionate about offering opportunities to people in their early careers.

Ruth Edge

I was appointed as the Chief Food Chain Adviser at the National Farmers Union in 2015. Within this role I am responsible for leading the NFU’s lead the NFU’s strategy on UK's national retailers, large brands and key policy areas such as food labeling and unfair trading practices. Alongside this role I hold the responsibilities of Vice Chairman of the EU COPA COGECA Food Chain Working Group, which has been key lobbying for the EU Directive on Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain. I joined the NFU from Tesco where I held the role of agriculture manager and have previously worked within a number of processing businesses. My contribution to WIFF is likely to be a strong connection with the agricultural sector. I feel I can suggest and approach speakers for events. In addition I have some thoughts on how we can grow the WIFF group and develop future formats for meetings.

Eve Jefford

I am a Senior Product Manager for Proagrica, a global provider of independent connectivity and data-driven support solutions for the agricultural industry. Having graduated from the University of Edinburgh studying Politics and Philosophy in 2018, I started on the RELX product management graduate scheme and moved into Proagrica where I am on my second role. I am passionate about the development of talent and deployment of technology; both are fundamental to overcoming the global food supply issues. I am keen for young people to be represented at board level and am the chair of directors for the 77 leaseholders of the estate where I own a flat and of course enjoy helping with WIFF.

Helen Peasnall

Awaiting details

Catherine Pintilie

I am General Manager of Farm Direct Ltd, an importer of avocados from South Africa. I love avocados and my favourite way to eat them is in guacamole! I started my career on the Buying Graduate Scheme at Sainsbury’s and spent 10 fond years buying lots of different categories. My final, and most senior, role was Buying Manager of fruit in the produce team where I fell in love with agriculture and the people responsible for it. I left retail to work in the food service industry as Buying Manager for Taco Bell, part of the Yum! group. I was drawn back to produce, returning as Customer Director for a fruit packing and distribution company, responsible for Customer Accounts and Supply Chain, before joining Farm Direct. In my spare time, I run a mentoring scheme called Flourish in Food, a unique personal pairing programme for people working in or aspiring to work in the food industry. I am passionate about the WIFF group and I want to build on my mentoring experience to inspire more of the current and next generation to thrive in our industry.

Emily Norton

Emily is a farmer and an independent rural policy and strategy advisor, with a particular interest in emerging natural capital influences on land, food and farming. She qualified as solicitor before undertaking an MSc in Sustainable Agriculture. She has spent her career working in farming, food and rural affairs, most recently as Head of Rural Research at property consultancy Savills. Emily holds various board positions, including as Chair of the Advisory Group for Soil Association Exchange and as a member of the Environmental Markets Board. She is a member of the national policy committee of the CLA, and is a trustee at the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association. Emily lives and farms in Norfolk.

" If you want to go FAST, go ALONE; If you want to go FAR go TOGETHER"

Member Testimonials

'For too long women have been the invisible workforce of British farming – the joy of this group is that it brings women to the fore, enables us to exchange ideas and experiences, information and best practice. It’s a space to encourage each other to do more and better – and to celebrate our contribution to the industry over a glass of wine… '
Charlotte Smith