Kirton agri-food expert appointed to RPA

Sarah Dawson.
Sarah Dawson.

A Kirton agricultural expert is doing her bit to help the industry become more profitable and fairer for farmers.

Sarah Dawson (40) has been appointed to serve on the Independent Agricultural Appeals Panel.

Appeal panels meet to consider appeals from farmers against decisions made by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), with Farming Minister George Eustice making the final decision.

The appointment follows a career spent gaining wide-ranging experience and expertise since growing up on the family’s farm at Fishtoft. Sarah spent time in the fresh produce industry, working her way up from quality controller to senior technical manager, before gaining experience in the frozen sector.

She set up her own business, Food Chain Partnership Ltd, and took over the role of NFU national Horticulture and Potatoes Board chairman. When she stood down from that earlier this year Sarah was immediately co-opted back on to the national board as a specialist in charge of plant production and food safety standards.

It was her passion for the industry that prompted her to accept the new position.

Sarah, who is expecting her second child in February, said: “It’s a combination of being incredibly passionate about the industry and, with my background, career and experience, wanting to give something back in terms of helping the industry to become more profitable, more sustainable and creating a fairer environment in terms of policy and regulation for us all to operate in.

“Now is a very interesting time to be involved with the RPA as it prepares to implement the new CAP reforms and a new online application and payments system for farm payments in 2015.”