Skip to main content

Seminar 4 - Key speakers

Subpage Hero

Crop protection and changing regulation

Topic 4: 14:30-15:15

Day 1: Chairperson - Will Oliver
Day 2: Chairperson - Will Oliver


    Chairperson - Will Oliver


Farmer, A H Oliver & Son 

Will Oliver, is fourth generation on the family farm. Working with the family as part of a diverse farming business. The business includes a wide range of activities from arable, poultry, glamping and lettings. Will is on National Crops Board, Maize Growers Association Council and ambassador for Clean Up Britain. 


The mainstay of the business for generations has been the arable department. And that remains that case today. The organic manures from the poultry has revolutionised our Cost of Production. Especially in this volatile time. Passionate about efficiency and moving the business forward. Utilising manures by growing grain maize for GLW feeds is seeing huge benefits to our soils. Bringing cover crops, sheep and utilising manures into our rotation. The future looks bright as we moving toward direct drilling and reducing fixed cost and working on improving efficiency further…..the bi production being net zero hopefully.  

Dave Bench


Chief Executive, CropLife UK 

Dave leads CropLife UK, which is the trade association for UK companies providing crop protection solutions.  CropLife UK promotes the essential role of science and innovation in protecting food, parks, gardens, roads and railways; and advocates good stewardship, better regulation and best practice. 

Until June 2020 Dave led the Health and Safety Executive’s work to ensure that UK chemicals regulation would be operable and effective post-Brexit.  From 2011 - 2017 he led the UK regulatory authority for plant protection products, biocides, and other chemicals. 

Dave has spent most of his career leading specialist teams and in strategic policy roles in UK Government.  He started his career dealing with risk assessment of plant protection products.  Throughout his career he has been involved in policy development and regulation in a range of areas, including genetic modification in agriculture, animal health, marine, and particularly chemicals & plant protection products. 

Rob Wilkinson


Farming Consultant (Associate Director), Strutt & Parker

Rob Wilkinson is a member of Strutt & Parker’s nationwide farming team, providing farm management, agronomy and environmental stewardship advice to farmers throughout the East Midlands. He comes from an arable family farm background and prior to joining Strutt & Parker in 2007 he worked as an assistant farm manager in Bedfordshire and Suffolk. Rob is a qualified agronomist and fertiliser advisor and a member of the AICC. 

Dr David Schafer


Winter Wheat breeder in the UK for RAGT seeds, a leading multi-species European plant breeder.

RAGT Seeds is always keen to engage with growers and the industry, conversations around genetics and variety choice does not only belong to the summer months. An example of which is how growers can make the best of new BYDV resistant wheat varieties.