Working together with producers, growers and industry partners across the whole supply chain is the key to ensuring the continued, sustainable delivery of products and services to support the future of UK farming, says ABN’s new commercial director.
Appointed in early 2023, Tessa Seymour is heading up ABN’s pig and poultry commercial division, as well as commercial activities at Sullivan Poultry Group and Sportsman Game Feeds.
She states her remit is very much continuing the partnership commitment adopted across all of these teams, alongside the introduction of new initiatives, enabling the delivery of high-quality feed and exceptional services to new and existing customers.
New initiatives and commercial projects, including ABN’s partnership of the £5.9m Defra-funded, PGRO led NCS pulse research project, will underpin this approach, aligning with ABN’s wider commercial strategy.
The NCS project, launched to help farmers reduce agricultural emissions by 1.5Mt CO₂e a year, has the dual aim of both increasing pulse cropping in arable rotations across the UK, as well as reducing the reliance on imported proteins used in livestock feed.
The aim is to replace up to 50% of imported soya meal used in feed with home-grown pulses and legumes.
“This particular project directly correlates with ABN’s commitment to supporting a sustainable pig and poultry industry, in this case joining together with industry to research and develop processes to increase the use of pulses in monogastric diets,” says Seymour.
“The partnership approach begins within our own business, and extends across the entire supply chain. We strongly believe that by working together with our industry partners, from growers and producers right through to processors and retailers, we can help promote the sustainable future of British food and farming,” she adds.
Bringing a strong track-record across various commercial roles within food and farming, Seymour aims to further develop engagement across the sector, something that has been a feature of her career in agriculture. As head of commercial agriculture at British Sugar, she was part of the negotiation team securing the annual NFU Sugar contracts, while teams of account managers, responsible for securing the tonnage for cropping area, were also reporting into her.
Prior to that, she spent 18 months as commercial director at 2Agriculture, and before that, was European sugar beet commercial manager with Germains. She then returned to British Sugar, having previously held a management accountant role from 2012.
“As a qualified chartered accountant, that initial position at British Sugar was my first real exposure to this sector, and I soon moved into work within the commercial supply chains. This was a much better fit for me, and kick-started my career in agriculture,” she explains.
“It has been a slightly unconventional route, but has given me a great insight into the importance of developing engagement across industry partners, and I look forward to continuing this approach in my new role.”
Seymour was raised in South Africa. Moving to London in 2000 having completed her degree, she worked for various investment banking companies in the city, before taking her initial role with British Sugar.
She will be working closely alongside ABN general manager, Danny Johnson, and national sales manager, Bob Dixon, as well as Claire Parker at Sullivan Poultry Group and Andrew Davies of Sportsman Game Feeds.
“I look forward to meeting and working with our customers and industry partners, alongside all of our team, to help continue our drive to support a sustainable British farming future,” Seymour concludes.