West Country accountant and corporate financier Philip Moody has been appointed group chairman of Britain’s leading grain co-operative Openfield. The board of directors voted unanimously that Mr Moody should succeed Richard Beldam who has decided to retire from the role after nearly 20 years.
Mr Moody is chairman of Smith & Williamson Corporate Finance and served as a non-executive director of Openfield and its predecessor companies since 1991. He also serves as a non-exec director or chairman to several other companies in the food supply chain and is responsible for introducing Centaur Grain (now Openfield) to Warburtons to promote a direct grain supply arrangement that continues to this day.
“Philip has been instrumental in helping to create the business we have today. His talent for strategic planning and deep understanding of supply chains across the food industry will be vital to ensuring its future success,” said James Dallas, Openfield chief executive officer.
The board of directors thanked Mr Beldam for his years of service to the business during which time he has overseen its journey from that of a regional player to become a leading farmer-owned business working for its members across England, Scotland and Wales.
“Richard’s leaves a rich legacy and he should be rightly proud of what the business has achieved during his tenure. The business is in a strong position despite some difficult years and is well-placed to face whatever the future may bring.”
In addition to Mr Moody’s appointment, Lincolnshire farmer Mark Tinsley joined the board in January.
“Mark is a prominent farmer and brings valuable off-farm experience to the role, including as a past director of NFU Mutual and as vice-chairman of Don Curry’s report into the future of agriculture. We welcome him to the board,” said Mr Dallas.