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David is: a non-Executive Director of Berry Gardens Limited, a farmer-owned and Europe’s largest fresh berry business (turnover US$ 320 million in 2012). He is a frequent keynote speaker at major national and international food industry seminars and conferences around the globe. He works closely with food industry firms on the development of marketing strategies, building partnerships in the food industry, and with governments on food policy formulation.  He is a proponent of building strong vertical alliances – partnerships – in the food industry; between consumers and agribusiness, the farm sector, manufacturers, food service and retail.  He has many articles/chapters published in notable national and international journals and books and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Kent Business School and a Visiting Professor at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, U.K. 


Over two decades, Professor Hughes has been an international advisory board member of agribusiness and food organisations in the USA, Canada, Europe and New Zealand (e.g. Rabobank, Food Industry Center, USA, AgResearch NZ). Travelling 300 days or so per year, David is constantly interacting with senior management of food and beverage firms across the globe. He is a very frequent key note speaker and/or Chairman at major national and international conferences covering all sectors of the food industry. In 2012, David worked in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Latin America, North America, and throughout Europe with companies operating in sectors such as: meat, fish and eggs, dairy, fresh produce, wine, packaged foods, genetics, farm inputs, food and feed ingredients, service sectors such as finance, packaging, IT, advertising and PR, food manufacturers, retailers, food service, farmer-owned businesses, and public sector agencies.  


In October 1991, David returned to the U.K. after 20 years of professional work undertaken outside Europe and became the inaugural Sainsbury Professor of Food Marketing at Wye College (now, Imperial College London), University of London. He established and directed the Food Industry Management Group which offered a range of under- and post-graduate degrees in business subjects, and completed research projects on a wide range of food industry issues.  


Prior to taking up his university appointment, Dr. Hughes spent four years establishing a   fresh produce business in the USA. The firm produced and marketed branded fresh herbs to supermarkets and food service outlets in the Eastern USA and was sold in 2002In the mid-80’s, he was Project Director of a USA Government initiative to establish an Agribusiness and Food Venture Capital Trust in the Caribbean – the Trust sought and took equity positions in growth-orientated agribusiness and food firms in the Caribbean region.  In the first half of the 1980’s, he established regional offices for the management consulting firm Deloitte Canada in the Caribbean and East Africa, and was responsible for directing the design and implementation of development projects in developing/emerging countries in both hemispheres of the globe.  


In the latter half of the 1970’s, living and working in North America, David established with a partner a management consulting firm and agribusiness market research firm (both sold to Deloitte et al in 1980).  These firms were market leaders in agribusiness and food consultancy in Canada.  Arriving in Canada in 1973, David was a food policy analyst with the Federal Government, then, Director of Research for the Food Prices Review Board – an influential Federal Government Commission that represented the consumers’ interests in food and food policy during the turbulent high inflation years of the early-to-mid 1970s.

Academic Qualifications: 

B.Sc. (Hons.) Agricultural Economics, University of Reading, U.K. 

M.Sc. Agricultural and Food Marketing, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, U.K. 

(Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Scholarship). 

Ph.D. Food Marketing, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, U.K. 

(Meat and Livestock Commission Fellowship). 


Farm 2 Plate Exchange 2021 Speakers