Patron – Amanda Cottrell
OBE, Patron of Visit Kent, Director Visit England & former High Sheriff of Kent
Chairman – William Opie
Managing Director, Bennett Opie Ltd
William has been involved in Produced in Kent and its predecessor, Kentish Fare, since its inception in the early 1990s. He is the Managing Director of Bennett Opie, the great grandson of the founder Bennett Opie and has worked in the business since 1972. When not in the office, he keeps himself fit by cycling and trekking in the Alps. He’s also an avid member of the MG car club
Managing Director, Biddenden Vineyards
Julian left school at 16 to join the family’s small apple farm and diversified vineyard, producing award winning wines. He has developed a range of apple based products, including cider and juice, along with contract bottling for other farmers, putting in place the initial sales and distribution rounds and the company’s tourism and retail sales at the farm gate. He is committed to working locally without supermarkets, taking a strong approach to quality and customer service and he sits on the board representing the smaller diversified businesses bringing an understanding for those that wish to aim higher.
Purchasing and Marketing Director, kff (kent frozen foods)
kff have supported Produced in Kent since they first joined in 2008. Starting his career at kff at the age of 24, Stephen was not daunted by the enormity of his first task, to create a working marketing function, completely from scratch. Nowadays, Stephen leads the same department as Purchasing and Marketing Director. His vision and hard work has helped the business to become one of the South East’s largest independent food service wholesalers, generating an annual turnover in excess of £38 million. The local sourcing policy and ethos built into the kff culture is derived from Stephen’s passion and commitment to supporting local producers where ever possible.
Partner of S W Doughty
Alison is the fourth generation of her family to be involved in the running of the award winning butchers S. W. Doughty of Doddington. Following on from a varied career in primary teaching she returned ‘home’ to manage and partner the business with her brother Stuart. In 2005 they were voted ‘Kent’s Best Butcher’ and in 2010 were awarded the much coveted title of ‘National Champion Butcher’ by the Countryside Alliance. Success that they attribute to traditional methods provided by highly experienced friendly staff and the local sourcing of products. (Not to mention the sausages!)
Alison is married with two daughters and enjoys walking, gardening and travelling in Europe in her leisure time.
Principal, Hadlow College
Paul Hannan has been Principal at Hadlow College for 10 years. Since that time, the College has gone from success to success. It is now regarded by Ofsted as an ‘Outstanding’ College (June 2010)
Paul is the elected Chair of Landex (Land Based Colleges Aspiring to Excellence. He is also a Board member of AOSEC, a member of Greenwich University Principals’ Strategic group, a Board member of Produced in Kent, Governor at a local school and also a Kent Ambassador.
Paul enjoys time with his family, as well as following his hobbies in football, golf, cricket and gardening.
Richard’s first restaurant, Thackeray’s in Tunbridge Wells, is well known as one of the best restaurants in Kent having won numerous accolades including a Michelin star. He has also renewed the fortunes of two gastro pubs, Pearsons Arms in Whitstable and The Windmill in Hollingbourne near Maidstone. Richard is also an enthusiastic promoter and judge of the Kent Young Chef Award. He is married with two young children and enjoys playing sport and watching football in his spare time.
Deputy Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Kent County Council.
Seán represents Kent County Council’s Cranbrook division in rural west Kent which includes the villages of Benenden, Frittenden, Hawkhurst, Sandhurst and Sissinghurst.
Previously he was a television reporter, working as a political correspondent for TVam and in news at Meridian, ITN, Sky and BBC Radio 4. As a TV specialist he has been an advisor to ministers and to army commanders. He is a former major in the Territorial Army, serving in the Media Operations Group
Presently Seán also represents Benenden and Cranbrook on Tunbridge Wells Borough Council where he has been a planning committee chairman.
His pastimes include military history, the Korean martial art Taekwon-do, scuba diving and keeping fit at the gym. He is married with 4 children.